Library demolition

A demolition crew removes debris from the old Houston-Love Memorial Library while saving items that can be recycled.

Demolition on the old Houston-Love Memorial Library is underway, but many of its parts and pieces won’t be going to a landfill.

Anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent of the metals, bricks and wood that formed the 71-year-old structure could be reused and recycled, said Rodney Garvin, superintendent of B&B Recycling, the Oklahoma-based company performing the demolition and salvaging the materials.

B&B’s contract with the Dothan Houston County Library System was multi-faceted, said Director Bettye Forbus.

The company paid about $44,000 to perform asbestos abatement, demolish the property, sort the salvage into recyclable and reusable materials and sell them, Forbus said. The process should be complete by the end of the month.

Garvin said the metal products will go to a recycler, which will use it to make and sell other products. The brick, which was made in the 1920s or 1930s, will go to brick yards all over the country and sold to build new houses. Bricks such as those are no longer manufactured and considered a higher quality than today’s bricks, Garvin said.

The wood from the structure will be sent to various places across the country to build high-end hardwood flooring and other reclaimed wood products.

But some of the wood will stay in Dothan, Garvin said.

“(There are some) local people that have bought (some wood),” he said. “They’re going to build tables to donate back to the new library. There’s a lot of local folks that have bought wood for personal use to cut and make stuff, for the simple fact that it came out of the building.”

Forbus said she had given Garvin’s name and number to about a half a dozen people interested in purchasing some of the materials from the old building. The elevator, for example, has already been purchased to go in someone’s home.

But the large, wooden floor joists are the most popular items among locals, she said.

“I know that some of the things will come back (to the library) both as keepsakes and functional furniture,” she said.

Garvin said the demolition process moves more slowly when building parts are being recycled, instead of being torn down and sent to a landfill. A normal demolition might take two days, but B&B’s contract allows the company to spend 45 days.

“Doing it this way saves the landfill from having an abundant amount of trash, and plus it gives some people the opportunity to have some nice stuff,” he said.

Follow Jennifer Calhoun on Twitter @JenLCalhoun.

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