Lumber from destroyed Rockaways boardwalk may get new life

Piles of wood at the Rockaways (source: Slate)
Piles of wood at the Rockaways (source: Slate)

Nearly three weeks after the storm, a question has arisen in the Rockaways over future uses of the lumber, currently in piles, that Sandy tore up from the boardwalk, the New York Times reported. There’s a mix of teak, pine and ipe lumber, which can be valuable.

In the past, a stockpile of lumber taken from Coney Island’s boardwalk in a recycling project was used to make flooring, furniture and decks for homes. The city had discarded the wood and did not gain money from its recycled sales.

A block-long portion of the Rockaways lumber could fetch $250,000, a source told the Times. The city has no means to sell discarded lumber to private companies. In the case of Coney Island, the city either gave the materials to other park projects or allowed contractors to toss it.

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In the Rockaways,  Brooklyn- and Queens-based companies have been in talks with the city parks department to see how they can get a hold of the wood for similar uses to that of the Coney Island wood. They say that obtaining the wood could create jobs locally and sales proceeds could go to local charities aLocal advocates claim that the city has already been too aggressive in its removal post-storm.

But the city maintains that it is in talks with the federal government to salvage some of the wood. “The city is interested in reusing what we can,” Dorothy Lewandowski, the Queens parks commissioner, told the Times. [NYT] — Zachary Kussin