Waste Not, Want Not: Optimizing through Reconditioning

Author: Leah Cooper

The phrase “waste not, want not” is as much a part of American culture as apple pie and 24-hour Walmarts (who hasn’t made a midnight snack run?). Think of all the old coffee cans sitting in garages filled with nails, screws, and buttons. Think of your dad’s old underwear your mom uses for dusting the house— okay, don’t think of that. Gross. But resourcefulness is ingrained in our subconscious. Much as modern marketing is drowning us in messages of consumerism, the lessons we have learned from our previous generations: Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Memaw, Uncle Bobby: are keeping us afloat. We’re bringing those values back into our businesses; of course, some of us never lost them. General Equipment and Supply (GES) was founded to recondition and return construction tools and equipment to operation. GES isn’t repurposing tools to become green. We’re restoring premium equipment because it just makes sense.

Perhaps you’re wondering if recycling and restoration really do have a place in the world of fast construction and model homes? In truth, building is a cyclical process, not unlike the cycle of rain from evaporation to precipitation. Cut out the dead-end to the landfill, and you’ll find many avenues to repurpose materials. We treat concrete like mom’s leftover spaghetti… dry and more likely to see the trash can than the microwave in a week. However, concrete’s use doesn’t end once set. Concrete can be renewed by a process called rubblization into a base layer for asphalt. As a builder pouring parking spaces over a demolished lot, concrete slabs can quickly become a pain in the glutes to remove, making rubblization a time and material saver. Still need to remove it? Broken concrete is porous and stable, making it a superior substitute for gravel in drainage systems. Replace river rock in mulch with crushed concrete for better water retention. The real difficulty with concrete’s reputation as a single-use product comes from its composition: concrete cannot be pulverized and remixed to pour at the same material strength as the initial mix. This is just an image issue; instead, we need to imagine used concrete at its fullest potential. Picture concrete as it’s used by oceanographers to transplant coral reefs. This inconvenient byproduct of demolition can instead complete its cycle by transforming into an agent for environmental regeneration. On the other hand, try throwing that leftover spaghetti into the ocean– zero value-added.

Construction materials evolve through repurposing initiatives. But then what about the things too big to throw out? Please, a moment of silence for the Connex containers rusting in junkyards and hosting raccoon family reunions. It didn’t have to be this way. If Dwell has anything to say about it, and yes – they do, Connex containers have outgrown their role as storage units and have become the trend for modern homeowners. Contractors can take advantage of selling their empty storage containers for a much-needed glow-up. “Miss me with those lumber prices,” say the twenty-first century home builders: shipping containers are a material-minimal and cost-saving method to constructing metal abodes with predictably rectangle dimensions. Stack them, cut them, weld them, and add the fixings. Then comes the inevitable housewarming party, without the raccoons, unless, of course, that’s what you’re into. Be your own guest; it’s your container house.

Note: Domesticated Raccoons are illegal in 16 states. Raccoons are wild animals. Once domesticated, a racoon cannot be returned to the wild. Experts do not recommend keeping raccoons as pets.

We ask our customers then if repurposing and recycling benefit the construction industry (and we’re talking cost savings, labor savings, and environmental savings), why can’t reconditioning reap those same rewards? The answer: it can. With an experienced production team of machine specialists, welders, material fabricators, mechanics, electricians, and painters, GES can provide fit for operation used tools and equipment at 70% of the cost of new manufacturing. It simply doesn’t benefit the construction product consumer to purchase directly from the retailer when reconditioned is an option. Find the specific tool you are looking for from GES, buy at a discount with a matching 1-year warranty, and get the job done right. Then complete the cycle: at project closeout, sell your remaining tools and materials to GES at one wholesale price. We’ll provide complete site cleaning services. Your items ship to our warehouses for process and repair until ultimately used equipment is reconditioned and ready for its next project. The cycle benefits both parties, gives the environment a pat on the back, and gives big-factory the middle fing— just kidding! We work directly with the brand manufacturer to source parts because it’s not about cutting out the middleman: it’s about optimizing the outcome. In other words: waste not, want not.

BACK TO TOP