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Portland City Council approves pilot deconstruction program

On June 3, Portland City Council unanimously approved a resolution instructing the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to establish a pilot program to advance deconstruction (disassembly of structures in order to salvage materials for reuse).  Mayor Hales said that Council is committed to moving fast on this issue. He also reiterated that the Portland community has shown a strong interest in moving in the direction of deconstruction as one of the ways to help address the recent increase in neighborhood demolition rates.

Members of Council and some testifiers also highlighted many of the benefits of deconstruction, including an increase in the amount of recovered materials that may be re-purposed and diverted from landfills, preservation of historic features and materials, a decrease in exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos, and reduction of carbon emissions. .

The pilot program will provide deconstruction training, education, technical assistance and financial incentives for innovative projects. Deconstruction classes are scheduled to commence this fall, and BPS is expected to report back to Council on program status and next steps in January 2016. The pilot is funded through a grant from the Solid Waste Management Fund reserve, administered by BPS.

The design and execution of the pilot program will be conducted with continued discussion and input from the Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG), convened in April. The group includes a wide range of experts including deconstruction contractors, salvage retail outlets, historic preservationists, developers, a recycler/hauler, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), Mayor’s office, and Metro staff, as well as members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) and United Neighbors for Reform.

More information about the Deconstruction Advisory Group, meeting minutes, calendar, and contact information are all available on the BPS website at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67421. To learn more about deconstruction, please visit the Construction & Demolition Debris section of the BPS website.

URL for full video of City Council proceedings: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/28258