California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Reuse Organization Profiles

Whole House Building Supply (WHBS)


Whole House Building Supply (WHBS) salvages materials from buildings that are to be demolished or remodeled. The primary method WHBS uses to sell the salvaged materials is through a "salvage sale," which is similar to an estate or garage sale, where customers come to the house and purchase parts of the house such as sinks, windows, doors, etc. Sellable materials that are not sold at the salvage sales are then brought back to the WHBS for sale.


Paul Gardner has been in the construction business for 20 years. While working for other contractors, Gardner was discouraged by the amount of building materials being wasted. Ten years ago, Gardner started working as a general contractor and began salvaging construction and/or demolition (C&D) materials for reuse on the job.

One of the obstacles Gardner faced was lack of storage for the materials he was salvaging. To solve this problem, he had the idea of publishing a newsletter that would provide a materials exchange for the public. Sellers could list materials without cost and subscribers would receive the newsletter once a month or bimonthly for a small fee. Buyers would call sellers directly about materials listed.

As time progressed, Gardner started storing materials on a small scale, but adequate space soon became a challenge. To solve this dilemma, he started holding C&D home salvage sales, which enabled Gardner to sell materials to the public without storing them.

In March of 1998, the WHBS warehouse and yard opened for business. These new facilities enable WHBS to store and display greater amounts of materials that are not sold at salvage sales for future purchase by customers.


WHBS operates a collection service, in addition to the salvage sales and the warehouse/retail store. To further enhance and increase the reuse of building materials, WHBS has formed relationships with three nonprofits: East Palo Alto Council of Tenants (EPACT), United Cancer Research Society (UCRS), and the ReUse People.

EPACT provides affordable and fair housing for East Palo Alto residents; a portion of proceeds from WHBS goes to EPACT.

WHBS also has a working relationship with UCRS. When there is a house or building that has the potential to be donated to the UCRS, WHBS informs the nonprofit of the opportunity. When UCRS has a house that requires salvage, UCRS informs WHBS of the upcoming work.

Working with the ReUse People is a new partnership. After WHBS conducts a salvage sale, the ReUse People deconstruct the house. This partnership greatly increases the amount of materials being diverted from the landfill.

Through WHBS, approximately 98 percent of all donated materials that are sold at the warehouse are diverted from the landfill.

Materials Accepted Source of Materials Collection Services Geographic
Service Area
Used building materials (no paints, powders, or liquids). Customers must call the warehouse before bringing materials to the warehouse for donation to ensure the materials are currently being accepted. Buildings that are going to be demolished or remodeled, donations from surrounding communities, and overruns from companies that sell new building materials. WHBS does pick up materials depending on the items and location. Customers must call first. San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, and outlying areas.

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Last updated: May 23, 2014
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