“When you think ‘recycled kitchen,’” says Steve Feldman, founder of Renovation Angel, whose memory of a Greenwich, Connecticut, kitchen being thrown out inspired him to create the company, “you’re probably thinking ‘grandma’s kitchen.’ We don’t take those.”
Since its founding in 2005 in the New York City area, Renovation Angel has recycled 6,500 kitchens, created $23 million in jobs and donated $2.3 million to charities like Designs for Dignity (pro bono services for nonprofits) and Timothy Hill (a farm for at-risk youth). A Chicago location has serviced the Midwest, including
Milwaukee, since 2012.
Potential donors complete a form on the website, followed by a home inspection, to determine whether their kitchen qualifies. Kitchens must not be more than 10 years old and include appliances. Removal costs nothing. Buyers, who include architects and interior designers, simply click and pay online. Prices range from about $2,000 (for a sleek orange-red wet bar) to $160,000 (for a full kitchen still in the box with marble countertops, Arclinea cabinetry and an island), with shipping to Wisconsin costing around $1,500. Most kitchens are worth about $100,000, says Feldman.
“It creates a circular economy,” says Feldman. “For the DIYer, it’s a wonderful thing.”