Why did I start Green Demolitions and then Renovation Angel? Because I wanted to “give back” after my life was given back to me. Here’s my story –I was a teenage drug and alcohol abuser raised in Poughkeepsie, New York and suffered two bouts of serious suicidal depression before I got my recovery.
I was in the radio business for 18 years, winding up as the Senior Marketing Manager for two Clear Channel Providence, RI radio stations (WWRX-FM and B101). My recovery happened in the middle of my radio career – five years later WWRX-FM became America’s first independent “Imus in the Morning” syndicated station. My radio sales flourished and I earned enough money in the next four years to start giving back.
I left radio in 1998 to pursue fund-raising for addiction recovery outreach projects. In my first year I had meetings with foundations and philanthropists in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, Golden, CO, etc., etc. The results – travel expenses $20,000 – funds raised $7,500.
Shortly after the 2001 Wall Street crash, I saw a “Demolition in Progress” sign at the former residence of Farah Pahlavi, the Last Empress of Iran, who had lived in a 10,000 square foot Rockefeller Mansion. The gates were open, so I drove up. The house was gone . . . so I had an idea . . . why not start a demolition donation program and earn the money rather than ask for it? The idea turned into a pilot project resulting in a Greenwich Time feature article in the October 2001 real estate section. 36 people responded. Over the next four years the program grew through word-of-mouth from high-end architects (Alex Kaali-Nagy), builders (Scott Hobbs) and kitchen designers (Peter Deane and Jim Bilotta).
In 2005, I decided to start Green Demolitions with a little “seed money”. It was just myself and a part-time administrator. Over the next 13 years we have become America’s leading recycler of luxury pre-owned kitchens and showroom displays. Our benchmarks include 1) recycling over 6,000 kitchens and diverting over 38 million tons from landfills, 2) distributing over $2.3 million for outreach projects, and 3) creating over $21 million of jobs.
In 2012, we spread our wings to become Renovation Angel, the official donation program of Green Demolitions. Edie Falco of the Sopranos and Amani Toomer of the New York Giants were our first “Celebrity Angels.” Since 2012 we have supported dozens of non-profits.
In 2014, Renovation Angel partnered with legendary industry leader Sub Zero and Wolf to begin an awareness campaign for luxury recycling throughout North America.
In 2016, Renovation Angel partnered with Walker Zanger, a luxury tile and stone manufacturer, creating an awareness partnership to encourage luxury kitchen recycling as a “best practice.”
In 2018, we consolidated our brands under the Renovation Angel umbrella, introducing “Renovate Responsibly” as our new slogan. We are the Luxury Recycler for donors and the kitchen/renovation industry and the Luxury Outlet for everyone to purchase recycled luxury at 50-90% off from our 43,000 square foot showroom in Fairfield, NJ.
Stay tuned in 2019 for more positive developments as we expand luxury recycling in North America.
We thank all of our donors, customers, and design/build partners for your continued support and enthusiasm!
Steve Feldman, Founder and CEO