In 2009, Roger Benton co-founded RE-CO BKLYN, New York City’s only working sawmill, with Dan Richfield. The company salvages downed city-trees that are otherwise headed to the chipper and transforms them into furniture.
“This method reduces unnecessary logging and waste, deforestation and high lumber prices due to shipping expenses,” explains the company’s homepage. RE-CO works with local arborists, tree services, and city parks departments to identify and locate their lumber.
The company catalogs where it gets each tree, allowing customers to identify from what neighborhood, what storm, what construction site the lumber was salvaged.
“It started with a couple of pick up trucks and an axe,” says Benton. “You can come to us with a tree, and you can walk away with high-quality furniture,” he says as he puts the finishing touches on a conference table made from tree that toppled in Hurricane Sandy.