When you install a new floor, do you demolish the old wood floor and leave it destined for the landfill? It doesn’t have to be that way. The material can still serve a purpose, thanks to organizations like RepurposedMATERIALS. It is an “industrial thrift store,” says owner Damon Carson, and the company sells anything that can be given a second life, from parking lot fabric to 840,000 gallon tanks made for concrete barges, as well as a healthy amount of flooring. For example, a brewery bought used semi-trailer flooring to build its bar top, countertops and shelving, and a Florida design firm created office cubicles with repurposed gym floors. The company promotes itself through a popular email newsletter—a treasure trove of zany repurposing ideas and stories behind its inventory. Two hot products right now: sections of the University of Arizona gym floor and a panel of Penn State’s gym floor. RepurposedMATERIALS has warehouses in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Philadelphia, and all will buy flooring waste. So before you hit the landfill, remember there’s a company out there that can probably extend the life of the materials you’re tossing.

Andrew Averill is the former associate editor at Wood Floor Business. A graduate of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, he had internships at newspapers across the country—San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Flint Journal—before a bad case of rug burn turned him into an advocate for floors of a harder disposition.