Queens Reuse Center

3-17 26th Ave. Astoria, NY 11102
718-777-0132 x2
queens@bignyc.org

Brooklyn Reuse Center

69 9th St. Gowanus, NY 11215
718-725-8925 x2
brooklyn@bignyc.org

 

Open 7 Days a Week

Monday 10am-6pm

Tuesday 10am-6pm
Wednesday 10am-6pm
Thursday 10am-6pm
Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 10am-5pm

 


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Instagram: @builditgreen#builditgreen

 

Donate, don't dump!

In 2013, BIG!NYC diverted over 4,000,000 lbs of usable building materials from the landfill!

BIG!Gives Back

has given away $300,000 worth of materials benefiting NYC's community and environment.

Our diversion rate reduces climate change emission by 3,200 MTCOE which is like saving 360,000 gallons of gasoline.

BIG! Compost

has diverted 267,230 lbs of food scraps and given away 159,240 lbs of compost and 49,620 lbs of mulch in 2013.

BIG!Blooms

has given away 5,345 pieces of retired lumber to build 2,226 garden beds in over 1,269 community and school gardens.

BIG!NYC Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 


Build It Green!NYC Staff

(in alphabetical order)


Matt Birnbaum

Inventory & Sales Coordinator, Brooklyn
mattb@bignyc.org
718-725-8925 x7002

Matt "Bernie" "Berner" "Bernard" "Bernice" "Bearnaise" Birnbaum hails from NYC, though he arrived at BIG! via Vermont, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Matt's education background is in political ecology, geography, and art history, having studied both at Middlebury College and within the CUNY system. He has previously worked on Urban Gardening programs in Milwaukee and on the transnational E-Scrap/ E-Waste trade effects in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Matt also worked at a Chinese takeout restaurant in high school and has something of an affinity for all things Asian. When he's not geeking out on maps or hiking in the Adirondacks, Matt also enjoys riding his bicycle, cooking over his wok, exploring liminal spaces, viewing art made beyond the pale of the museum, and taking in various obscure Central Asian leisure sports.

 


Vinnie Cannon

Warehouse Operations Supervisor, Brooklyn
vinnie@bignyc.org
718-725-8925 x7002

Vinnie has by far the most warehousing experience of anyone at Build It Green!NYC. From the paint room to windows, nobody knows the warehouse like Vinnie. As our first successful hire from a work training program (Fatherhood Re-entry Program), Vinnie has extensive experience with truck driving, warehousing and construction. When he’s not busy shaping the hearts and minds of hissix children (that’s right, six children), Vinnie enjoys weight training, running and bicycling. If you ask me though, Vinnie’s real passion is inspirational public speaking, so much so that he’s been asked to guest lecture at the Fatherhood Program several times since his successful job placement here at BIG!NYC. Next time you stop by, say hi to Vinnie, you won’t regret it.


atom cianfarani

Sustainable Design Director
atom@bignyc.org
718-725-8925 x7002

atom is the Sustainable Design Manager for the Brooklyn location of Build It Green!NYC. She has been a patron of BIG!NYC since its opening and is thrilled to join the team. atom has been a leader in sustainable design for the last decade, and it comes from her love of garbage. Her fashion company Gaelyn and Cianfarani introduced sustainable fashion, as the first design team to walk an eco-fashion collection in Bryant Park in 2003; most of their garments were made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes. Working in the burgeoning green roof industry for the last 5 years, Cianfarani brings extensive knowledge of green roof systems and materials, as well as a breadth of experience managing work sites and crews. She has co-authored a do-it-yourself guide to green roofing and regularly lectures on the subject. Atom hails from Toronto, Canada.


Veronica Dougherty

Fiscal Services
veronica@bignyc.org
718-725-8925 x7027

Veronica has been helping artists and dreamers run their businesses for ten years, ever since she was laid off from her job writing horoscopes for websites.  In her spare time, she organizes site-specific installations and helps produce Seven Second Delay, a radio show on WFMU.

 


Chris Fox

Deconstructionist
fox@bignyc.org

Chris Fox graduated from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union in 2008. Before becoming a Deconstructionist with BIG!NYC, he worked in architecture, rogue clandestine carpentry, and upholstery, to name a few trades. While on the surface he appears to be just a nice mid-western architect from St. Louis, in reality Chris Fox is a wild man from wild stock. Some of his ancestors were whalers in the Hamptons (before they were "The Hamptons"), while others were competitive ice skate barrel rollers. That's where you spin on a barrel wearing ice skates in a frozen lake, or so we think. In his spare time, Chris enjoys his dog, riding his bicycle in flip flops year round, and origami. He also really likes climbing pretty much anything and jumping over other things.


Justin Green

Program Director & Founder
justin@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7023

Justin Green is the Co-founder and Director of Build It Green!NYC. Justin has overseen BIG!NYC’s development from its’ beginning in 2004, having managed the first two deconstruction projects for the Durst Organization that generated the materials required to launch BIG!NYC. Justin also piloted and directed NYC Cool Roofs for its first two years.

Before BIG!NYC, Justin worked at a non-profit addressing the housing and energy efficiency needs of low- and middle-income communities. While there, Justin assisted their efforts to establish a statewide loan fund for the installation of energy efficiency measures. He has also managed construction crews in residential development, worked as a Loan Associate with Low Income Investment Fund monitoring loans to non-profit housing developers, and designed for an educational dotcom. Justin received his BA with a double major in Economics and Community Development from Oberlin College.


Cate Giordano

Donations Acquisitions
cate@bignyc.org
718-777-0132

Cate is the driving force behind Build It Green!NYC. Originally from Pensacola, Florida, she holds a degree from the Massachusetts College for Art in Boston, specializing in Sculpture and Filmmaking. Cate’s very prolific. She's taught English in Korea, built rock trails in the Rockies of Colorado, made a film on the Siberian railways in Winter, constructed theater sets in NYC, and even played Rush Limbaugh tapes on a conservative talk show in the “car city” district of Pensacola. Who does that?! She’s also an extremely talented singer/songwriter, filmmaker and sculptor. Cate really likes Bison.  So much so that she actually fabricated a herd of them and uses them in her artistic endeavors whenever physically possible.


Steve Haskins

Operations Manager, Queens Reuse Center
steve@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7001

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Steve landed at Build It Green!NYC through Bard College’s BPI Program. While at Bard (like everyone else around here!), he received an Associate Liberal Arts degree, specializing in history. Some of his previous work experiences include landscaping, woodworking, and custodial work, although some of his best work lies ahead. Steve is currently working on a novel AND a clothing line if you can believe that! Steve LOVES snowmobiling, and basically all other motorized winter sports. What does this guy NOT do?!

 


Dan Lucal

Donations Acquisitions
danlucal@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 

Bio coming soon!

 

 


Daniel Luscombe

Inventory & Sales Manager, Queens Reuse Center
daniel@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7001

If Daniel had to list his top three interests they'd be:
1. Diverting waste from landfills
2. Reclaimed wood products
3. Providing excellent customer service
No wonder he likes working at BIG!NYC. Daniel was born and raised in the Paris of the Midwest - Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University and studied Urban and Regional Planning. He has previous experience in reclaimed wood and architectural salvage, and his crowded apartment will attest to his lifelong habit of collecting old things and throwing nothing away. When he's not in Astoria, you'll find him reading books on the subway or jerry-rigging his precarious fleet of bicycles

 

 


Fred Maass

Donations Acquisitions
fred@bignyc.org
718-777-0132

Returned from New Orleans, this natural-born hoarder is eager to wring every last drop of "usable" from would-be discarded materials. He once biked 100 miles in 100 degrees with no brakes and one pedal, and has crossed state lines with a hamster, a toad and a box turtle.


Yona Prochnik

Deconstructionist, Brooklyn
yona@bignyc.org
718-725-8925

Yona interned one summer at Build It Green!NYC, and we liked him so much we hired ‘em! Born in Israel, raised in Brooklyn, Yona recently completed a Political Science and Philosophy degree from McGill University in Montreal.  Some of his previous work experiences include: trail building in New Mexico with the Southwest Conservation Corps; organic farming in the French Pyrenese, and general maintenance and leisure at a hiking lodge upstate. In his spare time, Yona likes to rock out in his band, How to be Topp. He’s currently really into Russian Literature. He also claims he can eat more than anyone on staff. Bold statement, Yona, bold statement.

 


Devin Reitsma

Donations Acquisitions
devin@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7001

Bio coming soon!


Max Rubinstein

Deconstruction Director
max@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7026

Max spearheads the Deconstruction program at Build It Green!NYC, and is our most fashionable staff member. The recurring scene of perfectly good building materials crushed at the bottom of a dumpster led him here, and he’s never looked back. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Max attended Bard College in the late 90’s where he received a Bachelor of Arts in film in 2000. Since then he has really cultivated his skills as a precision craftsman, having worked as a fabricator, cabinetmaker and carpenter, all in NYC. He’s also worked in neon sign design and construction, as a behavioral health technician in Tucson, and dabbled in draping at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Max and Mira house a nuclear family of 5 cats, Georgie, Edgar, Alabamo, Winkie, and Bad Boy. You don’t see that every day. He is also perhaps our most well read staff member, having read every book ever written. Unfortunately that hasn’t translated into success in writing on his own novel, which he’s been working on since shortly after his premature arrival on earth.


Kit Schultz

Director of Donations 
kit@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7022

 

 

 

 


Zeke Stewart

Reuse Center Associate, Brooklyn
zeke@bignyc.org
718-725-8925

 

 

 

 


Joseph Williams

Reuse Center Associate, Queens
joseph@bignyc.org
718-777-0132 x7001

Though his official title may be reuse associate, Joseph has had many roles at Build It Green!NYC’s Queens reuse center. Jo-Jo, as he’s often known as around the warehouse, began at BIG!NYC as a YAIP intern, moved onto the carpentry training program at Brooklyn Woods, and returned to BIG!NYC as a trained carpenter specializing in restoring bowling alley lanes. He’s also a forklift specialist and a basketball fan (the Knicks and Carmelo). Joseph’s goal for the future is simple: make the earth better.


NYC Compost Project hosted by Build It Green!NYC


Erik Martig

Program Manager, NYC Compost Project hosted by Build It Green!NYC

erik@bignyc.org

718-777-0132 x7031

Erik Martig joins Build it Green!Compost as Program Coordinator for Compost Operations Development. He holds a bachelor's of science in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University and has worked for several leading landscape design firms in New York City. Following his agricultural roots Erik left landscape design to launch a compost project at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. Erik managed GrowNYC’s food-scrap diversion program where he oversaw the diversion over 1.1 million pounds of food-scraps from landfill -all while assisting the development of a local network of community supported composting sites. Compost is frequently the only topic of discussion with Erik, though he also enjoys cycling, skiing and snowboarding, gardening and photography.


Charles Lynch

Project Coordinator for Operations, NYC Compost Project hosted by Build It Green!NYC

Born in Altus, Oklahoma, Charles moved to New York City with his mother and sister in 1990 and has hailed from the Bronx ever since. A graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School, Charles now studies Nutrition at Bronx Community College. Before working for BIG!Compost, Charles interned at The Horticultural Society of New York. He enjoys composting because he feels that everything has a purpose and can be re-purposed. He is proud to do work that helps him both understand and teach about the process of turning unwanted food and scraps into compost, something so vital and useful for the planet. When he's not making compost at BIG, Charles is often working out at the gym or studying for his nutrition classes.


Ryan Olds

Field Assistant, NYC Compost Project  hosted by Build It Green!NYC

Project Manager, Build It Green!NYC Worm Compost

Hailing from the great state of Wisconsin, Ryan moved to New York City in the spring of 2011 after studying Music and Drama, Environmental Ethics, and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Since moving to New York, Ryan has worked with our friends at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy where he helped propagate and manage their diversive native plant nursery, and lead volunteers in composting and community greening projects. Ryan is certified in Permaculture Design and partnered with Living Restoration on the Living Roof SI project. As part of Build It Green's compost team, Ryan is excited to be educating New Yorkers on behalf of the environment and turning your food scraps into beautiful, nutritious compost!

 


Ozzie Martinez

Field Assistant, NYC Compost Project hosted by Build It Green!NYC

Ozzie was born and pretty much raised in the city of New York, surrounded by an urban jungle that had no healthy options for many people in under-served communities. So Ozzie made it his passion to study social issues facing our city today and seek out ways on how he could make a difference. Food justice and sustainable living became the focus to which Ozzie uses to share and teach others about compost, urban farming and leading the next generation to a better place!