The staff at Urban Miners in Hamden plans to use poplar and other old wood to make sheds for Connecticut Land Trust, or to sell as architectural salvage.
"There are things that are not replaceable," said Joe DeRisi, of Urban Miners. "They have historic and cultural value."
DeRisi said the "slow-growth lumber" he's harvesting is "more stable" than the lumber grown rapidly today.
"It pains me to see so many good materials thrown away when we can be making small buildings and furniture," said his demolition supervisor, Christian Kling.
Not demolition, but deconstruction is DeRisi's preferred word. He runs Urban Miners, hoping to help build a "more sustainable economy."
"If we throw out entire buildings or materials from a renovation basically that goes into a landfill or incinerator and it increases our carbon footprint," he said.