Demolishing a building used to mean a grand event — a wrecking ball, an implosion. It made for great television. Then the bulldozers scrape it all away, and the trucks cart it to the landfill.

Today, our increasingly recycling-friendly culture recognizes the value in all that leftover wood and construction material. In 2008, local nonprofit Sustainable Warehouse recycled over 30 tons of building material, including 20 from the Cigar Factory on East Bay Street alone. By carefully deconstructing a building or home, the folks at Sustainable Warehouse are able to donate or resell everything from trim to doors to light fixtures.

What materials Sustainable Warehouse doesn’t donate to other nonprofits are sold in salvage sales. The group is currently saving up for a permanent storage space and is anticipating an even greater demand for eco-demolition in 2009.

Because wastefulness is so 20th century.