KSU protects environment by recycling

Jennifer Mussig

Walking down the empty hallways of Terrace Hall with a magnet in hand Keith Ludwig, owner of Dynasty Deconstruction, demonstrates how to determine precious metal from scrap metal.

“If it sticks, it’s no good,” Ludwig said as he tapped the magnet against an aluminum window frame.

Deconstruction is the removal of materials such as metal, furniture, or glass, from a building to be recycled or sold. Ludwig said Dynasty’s main goal is to keep it out of the landfills.

“Deconstruction is considered a second chance on life for the products and materials,” he said. “I recycle about 80 percent of the building.”

Some materials removed include doorknobs, hand railings, marble from shower stalls, and copper piping. Members of Ludwig’s crew worked in the bathroom removing brass fixtures by the bucketful.

Precious metals are sold first because the market demand is high, Ludwig said. Copper is $2 to $3 a pound. Ludwig said he makes $600 to $700 a day recycling precious metals.

The purple Dumpsters outside of Terrace Hall are for scrap. A full Dumpster will net $20,000 to $30,000, Ludwig said.

Kent State receives half of the profits Ludwig makes when he sells or recycles material.

“I’m big on giving back. I’m old-school,” Ludwig said. “You give back. It’s a win-win situation. I have work all the time; it helps the environment, and Kent looks good in the community.”

Even the trees around Terrace Hall will be recycled. Trees will be sold to the Amish to make furniture, Ludwig said.

Going green

Green means balancing environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency, and cultural and community sensitivity, according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Reference Guide 2.0. Green building creates buildings that meet needs of current occupants while considering needs of future users.

“Deconstruction is the first part of going green,” Ludwig said. “We try to keep material out of landfills and reuse it by putting it back in the market place. It’s about being healthy with the environment and not wasting resources.”

Ludwig is vice president of the Green Lakewood Committee, which pushed him to start a deconstruction company three years ago.

Reducing cost

Deconstruction helps reduce demolition costs two ways, said Tom Euclide, director of architecture and engineering. When a Dumpster is taken to the landfill, the company pays a “tipping fee” to dump. With less material being thrown away, there will be fewer trucks at the landfill, Euclide said. The university also gets cash back from salvageable material sold or recycled.

“We pay nothing,” Euclide said. “We make money. Dynasty Deconstruction pays the university 50 percent of what they salvage from the building.”

This is the first time the university will use “deconstruction.”

“We looked into salvage opportunities with Johnson and Stopher Halls but were just moderately successful,” said David Creamer, vice president for administration. “The one advantage that did come from the demolition of Johnson and Stopher Halls is that we suddenly became known to companies in the salvaging industry and better opportunities were discovered with Terrace Hall.”

The university is looking to net $70,000, said Mike Bruder, assistant director of architecture and engineering. Once a week, Dynasty Deconstruction gives the university a check for half the profits from recycling.

“A typical demolition contractor will salvage a small portion,” Bruder said. “This company takes it to a different degree. Typically furniture is thrown out. Keith really believes in the environment.”

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Jennifer Mussig at [email protected]