Nov. 17, 2017 By Tara Law
A non-profit organization that sells recycled furniture and building materials is closing its Astoria operation.
Big Reuse, which has been operating out of a 35,000 square foot warehouse at 3-17 26th Avenue for the past 12 years, is leaving Nov. 30 after the property owner wanted to hike the rent.
The landlord wants to double it–from $20,000 per month to $40,000–claimed Justin Green, the executive director of the organization.
Green said that the rent increase was untenable for a nonprofit.
The organization generates its revenue by salvaging construction materials from demolished buildings and remodeling and re-purposing them. Its goal is to reduce construction waste and promote greener living.
“The rent is a lot when you’re selling salvaged toilets and reclaimed lumber, and you’re trying to do it as affordably as possible,” said Green.
The site contains a reuse center, a compost center and a mill for reclaimed lumber.
All items at the Queens location are currently 50 percent off. The location is also giving away doors, windows and trim for free.
The company will continue to maintain its Queens compost drop-offs and run street tree care events. Last year’s composting and tree care events attracted nearly 700 volunteers, Green said.
Big Reuse’s Brooklyn operation, located at 69 9th St. Gowanus, will remain open.
Green said that he is sad to have to lay off five staff members, and to close the site which is Big Reuse’s original location.
Big Reuse, however, is looking for a new location in Queens, and plans to remain active in the borough, Green said.