Daily Journal

What do you with old windows that are still in good condition? Or usable doors that just don’t fit the redecorating scheme? Or sinks, bathtubs, light fixtures or what not?

Many people think a landfill is the best destination, but two local organizations — Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County and Franklin Heritage — think otherwise.

Franklin Heritage opened its Architectural Salvage store in a former Franklin fire station on Hamilton Avenue some time ago. This fall it will move the business to a former bakery at 350 E. Madison St. True to its mission, the organization is restoring the building, where it will sell a wide variety of recycled materials and accessories.

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Its inventory will be particularly valuable to people who are restoring and maintaining historic homes in Johnson County, as modern hardware stores often don’t stock the right styles or sizes to meet the needs of Victorian homes.

Also this fall, Habitat for Humanity will open its ReStore, selling salvaged building materials, gently used furniture, appliances and other home items. The store will be a new source of income for the organization, helping raise money to support future builds for needy local families.

The location will be on U.S. 31 in Whiteland, offering prime visibility on the county’s main thoroughfare.

With the help of $35,000 in grants from the Johnson County Community Foundation, the Branigin Foundation and Old National Foundation, the organization has been able to purchase a box truck to move larger items from donors, if need be.

In both cases, people who are doing remodeling projects can donate usable materials and shop for replacements.

LeeAnn Wilbur, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County, hit the nail on the head when she described the mission of the store this way: “It’s a win across the board. It takes items that can be reused and diverts them from the landfill. The community can come in and buy items at a reduced price. That money goes back into our affiliate to help us with our mission.”

The same holds true for Franklin Heritage.

We commend both organizations not only for their ongoing commitment to local housing but to their additional efforts at reducing solid waste and in recycling usable home items. Both aspects of their missions are benefits to local communities and their residents.

At issue

Home remodeling projects often call for usable fixtures and furnishings to be sent to a landfill.

Our point

Two local organizations are creating stores to sell salvaged materials, offering items for homeowners while also reducing the amount of solid waste.