Salvage Building Materials

Storage shed made from recycled materials
Shed made from recycled materials

Many opportunities exist to reuse building materials that come from both demolition and alteration projects.

Salvage before demolition or alteration projects

Salvage is the removal of select materials from a building prior to demolition or a remodel/alteration project. These materials include items such as architectural features, cabinets, windows, and wood flooring. The typical home or commercial space often contains numerous reusable items.

For demolition projects, salvaging of non-structural items can begin before a demolition permit has been issued. Contact one of the local used building material stores. Store staff are typically available to visit a site to determine whether potentially salvageable items are desired by their business.

If a building contains enough desired materials, store staff may be able to remove the items from the building at no charge, and many are able to provide receipts to allow for a tax deduction based on the value of the materials. Any items removed before a building is demolished will reduce disposal costs.

Complete a Salvage Assessment

Seattle requires that construction and demolition permit applicants complete a Salvage Assessment for whole building demolition projects and projects that involve alterations valued at more than $75,000 and/or where the area of work is greater than 750 square feet. 

Complete the form here: Salvage Assessment online

For questions on how to fill out the Salvage Assessment, review the Salvage Assessment FAQs or contact Seattle Public Utilities at:



For comprehensive information about recycling options for different materials, look up your item on Where Does It Go? or call Seattle Public Utilities at (206) 343-8505. Assistance is available for nonstandard recycling, such as acoustic ceiling tile, drywall, porcelain, roofing, and plant/tree salvage.


Local building materials stores work together to encourage used building materials markets through the Northwest Building Salvage Network.


Asbestos: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Lead based Paint: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
PCB-containing fluorescent ballasts: Visit the EPA website and search for "PCB ballasts."


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.