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Businessman crafts genius solution to one of the biggest problems with America's landfills: 'It's up to all of us'

The company claims to be America's largest "industrial thrift store."

The company claims to be America's largest "industrial thrift store."

Photo Credit: iStock

Damon Carson founded repurposedMATERIALS with a specific goal in mind: to give materials headed to landfills a second life.

Before Carson started the company in 2010, he worked in solid waste and saw first-hand the obscene amount of trash that was being thrown away that could still be useful. 

According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report in 2018, Americans were responsible that year for almost 300 million tons of trash, with 50% ending up in landfills. As organic material decomposes in a landfill, it releases carbon dioxide and methane — the two leading culprits heating our planet unnaturally.  

RepurposedMATERIALS claims to be America's largest "industrial thrift store." The company takes materials that are used but not worthless. Its inventory — that would otherwise be headed to the landfill — mostly comes from companies, schools, and the government. Much of that inventory goes on to live its best second life. 

Street sweeper brushes have become back scratchers for livestock and zoo animals. Old bowling alley lanes are now countertops, butcher blocks, and shuffleboard tables. Even propane tanks have turned into BBQ grills, feed troughs, and cool-looking benches. 

Go to the repurposedMATERIALS Instagram page to find all sorts of creative uses its customers are finding for these discarded items. There are six physical locations across the country, and you can head to the company's website to find your own trash treasures. 

Thrifting is a great way to save money, and repurposedMATERIALS is one of the more unique thrifting companies we've seen. There aren't many thrift stores where you could find a 25,000-pound roll of cleated rubber conveyor belt

Everyone wins with companies like repurposedMATERIALS. Consumers find inexpensive materials to fit their needs. The company is profitable in large part because of the low inventory costs — not to mention it's also creating jobs. 

That stuff is great and all, but Damon Carson started this company with the goal of diverting usable trash from being discarded — and he is crushing that goal. Last year, the company kept 16.7 million pounds of waste from landfills! The goal for 2023 is 21 million pounds — hopefully, Carson's company will continue to surpass its goals. 

As Carson says at the end of the repurposedMATERIALS promo, "With only one Earth, it is up to all of us to make a difference in taking care of our environment."  

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