Welcome to Harvest eco-salvage and our unique green-building, de-construction and recycling program. Formerly known as The Eco-Logic Foundation, we reorganized in 2017 as Harvest eco-salvage. Through our 20 years of experience in the Phoenix metro area we have learned what works best in gleaning usable building materials and recyclable building materials from structures set for demolition or substantial remodeling. In those 20 years we have earned an unblemished reputation with the IRS, issued millions of dollars in Charitable Non-Cash Donations and kept hundreds of millions of pounds of building materials out of our landfills, putting these materials back to work in our community. A win-win for us all.
Harvest eco-salvage is a new kind of Non-Profit, we are totally self funded by the work we do and we do not rely on government grants, donations or public funding to operate. We keep it simple, the donor pays our costs to operate the program, they get a substantial tax deduction, skilled construction jobs are created, unnecessary waste is diverted from our landfills and social service agencies that help people, get the materials they need free of charge. Harvest eco-salvage does not operate a used building materials thrift store. We give the materials we glean, free of charge, to our Non-Profit , social service partners which include domestic abuse shelters, animal welfare shelters, veterans housing programs, local theater and arts groups, Habitat for Humanity ReStores and Stardust Building Supply thrift stores.
We look at the entire structure as recyclable/reusable and our program and your donation valuation addresses that. Many common building materials can be recycled or repurposed, it just takes education and resourcefulness. For instance, most people don't know that concrete is 100% recyclable, we have it crushed into man-made gravel (ABC fill) which re-enters the construction stream as back-fill, roadbeds, and under all concrete slab construction. Asphalt is also 100% recyclable and can be melted and re-used as road surface, water-proofing and roofing. Our program uses methods like these to reduce the mass of a structure going to our landfill by an average 85%. As new recycling facilities and technologies are created in our community we will see that percentage of diverted materials increase. Another win-win for us all.
"IT CAN BE IMMENSELY PROFITABLE TO DO THINGS A BETTER WAY" James Wilson Rouse, Pioneering Developer and Philanthropist
The Harvest eco-salvage program is a"better way" and a smart financial decision as well as a great social and environmental decision. Why should readily usable doors, appliances, windows, cabinets, and other building materials go to the landfill, which our taxes pay for, when they can be put back to work improving our community?
Why shouldn't donors receive the maximum value for their donation? Our donors are going the extra mile to do the right thing and they should be rewarded. Our program offers not only financial but emotional reward and at the end of the day it feels good to know you made the better choice.
In 2019 alone, we diverted over 70 million pounds from our landfills and issued over $19,000,000 in Non-Cash Charitable donations.
Our donors like us, our environment likes us and the IRS likes us. A hard earned win-win!
The IRS has very specific requirements for this type of Non-Cash Charitable Donation which starts with an IRS specific Qualified In-Place Real Estate Appraisal prepared by and IRS Qualified Real Estate Appraiser who determines the value of the in-place improvements separated from the value of the underlying land. The appraised value is your tax deduction. This deduction is applicable against up to 50% of your gross income and the donor has 5 years to use the entire value of the donation. All potential donors are strongly advised to consult with their tax professionals to see how this little known deduction would affect their taxes.
Harvest eco-salvage uses licensed and insured contractors to glean the structure of the readily usable fixtures and materials and then works with the donor's General Contractor for IRS compliance on the structural demolition and materials recycling portion of the program. Additional compliance requires that we track all of the materials recycled , donated and re-purposed plus warehouse an identifiable portion of each donation for a minimum of three years.
Upon completion of our program Harvest eco-salvage issues the donor an IRS form 8283, signed by our Executive Director and the Qualified Appraiser, two copies of the Qualified Appraisal and an IRS donation Acknowledgement letter.
Q. What one piece of information would you like the public understand about recycling?
A. Buildings set for demolition are not garbage. They contain literally tons of readily usable and reusable materials. These buildings still have not only monetary value but environmental and community benefits as well.
Q. Is it legal to remove the house off the land and what happens to my value?
A. Yes it is legal to remove the improvements, people move structures off the land, they can tear the old structures down and they can donate just the improvements/structure for a Non-Profit to use. Just look at your tax bill, there are separate values for the land and for the improvements. Look at your insurance policy, the improvements are the only thing covered as the land is enduring and can't be destroyed.
People often ask how can you sever the improvements from the land and that has a simple answer, they are taxed separately. Plus when you record a deed on a property the only thing insured by that deed is the land because it is the only thing of enduring value. You may pay a high price for the improvements but they are temporary and as far as I know only the State of Maryland requires that the transfer of all Real Property (including donated improvements) be recorded to show the transfer of ownership, but nowhere (Maryland included) are you prevented from making such a donation. The land value and the improvement values are valued as separate entities and can be disposed of separately. The improve-ments donated to us are donated “in-place” and we then use them for our purposes. We remove our
donated property off your land and you receive a market value for that “in-place” real property.
Q. How can the improvements be donated separate from the underlying land?
A. Using a Non-Cash Charitable Deduction, a Qualified Real Estate Appraisal and a qualified Non-Profit organization, the donor may donate the improvements using the IRS rules for this type of donation.
Q. Will this Charitable Non-Cash Donation trigger an audit?
A. All donors are strongly advised to discuss this with their tax professional before you donate. With over twenty years experience in the Phoenix metro area, issuing these types of deductions, we have not had a single complaint or challenge from the IRS to any deduction due to how we issue the deduction or how it is valued. We have been told by tax professionals that any donation over $300,000 triggers a IRS Supervisors review, but apparently we have been ticking the right boxes with our business model. We are proud to say that our record with the IRS is unblemished. We have never had a donation we issued rejected by the IRS.
Q. If my deduction is challenged what kind of backup does Harvest provide?
A. According to our IRS approved business plan, we are required to keep extensive inventory records, photos and material tracking including receipts from the other Non-Profits we donate materials to and the load tickets from recycling facilities. We keep these records for a minimum of 7 years. Additionally, we are required to warehouse a portion of each project for a minimum of 3 years. We are ready and able to prove that the deduction met all of the requirements if the IRS.
Q. I got an appraisal for the purchase of my home, can I use that?
A. No, a purchase appraisal does not meet the IRS requirements. The appraisal required is a IRS Qualified Real Estate Appraisal prepared by an IRS Qualified Appraiser. Our IRS approved business plan uses an ”in-place” real estate appraisal which values your donation with the same criteria as you bought the property, taking into account wear and tear, market value, best and highest use, etc., separated from the underlying land value.
Q. What is the difference in appraisals?
A. An In-Place Real Estate appraisal values the project with the same requirements as you bought it. An In-Place Appraisal is used for purchasing real property. A Qualified Appraisal must meet additional criteria determined by the IRS including being prepared by an IRS Qualified Appraiser. A Personal Property Appraisal is used if you donate to a Non-Profit that operates thrift stores, job training programs or direct donations to your church/school or favorite cause, resulting in your your donation being valued at thrift store pricing.
Q. Can I use this appraisal to have my builder take apart the building and donate the salvaged goods myself to a Non-Profit?
A. No, per IRS compliance the appraisal is prepared for the exclusive use of Harvest Eco-Salvage to validate and support the deduction they issue. The donor pays for the appraisal on behalf of Harvest Eco-Salvage which is unable to bear the costs of speculative appraisals.
Q. If I donate to your program can I require that the kitchen cabinets and appliances be donated to my church/school/friend ?
A. No, one of the IRS tests of this type of donation is that the donor cannot direct the use of any part of their donation. In addition the improvements have to be transferred to us as they were appraised, you can’t help us donate materials or strip the house of appraised items.
Q. What is recyclable in an old building?
A. Not only can the working appliances, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, mechanical equip-ment, etc. be re-used or recycled but so can the structure itself, which is what separates Harvest Eco-Salvage from other recycling/deconstruction companies. Our unique and Patent Pending program and proprietary process involves the entire structure from finish materials to the structural materials. On average we keep over 85% of the mass of a house out of our landfills and all of those materials are back to work in our community. Concrete, asphalt, metals and lumber are all recyclable.
Q. There are other Non-Profits in town that take building materials for free to sell in their thrift stores.
does Harvest Eco-Salvage operate a thrift store for used building materials?
A. No, we do not operate a thrift store, instead of selling these materials for pennies on the dollar we give the materials we’ve gleaned to our housing based Non-Profit partners. Our mission is to get these materials back to work in our community as quickly as possible. Our partners directly address the housing needs of our community, our donation to them allows them to do what they do best, directly help people in need. Plus our donation to them relieves them of the time and expense to obtain materials, allowing their budgets to stretch further. Harvest is not in the used building materials business, we are in the “keeping materials out of our landfills business”.
Q. Is there an average cost, a cost per square foot, or is it a percentage of the appraised value?
A. No, no and no. Each project is unique and has to assessed by Harvest Eco-Salvage. We tour the project and develop a not-to-exceed budget for our program. For example you can have two identical floor plans side by side but one house is just as the builder sold it, the other house has been upgraded with fine woodworking built-ins and all hardwood floors. Same exterior appearance, same structural values but vastly different valuation, plus the house with all of the fine built-ins and hardwood floors requires higher skilled labor and time to glean.
Q. How many days will your program add to the demo process?
A. The time required to salvage the readily re-usable materials averages 3-6 days, the structural materials portion of the salvage adds on average 2-3 days. Just as with the valuation, it all depends on the quality and quantity of materials per project.
Q. I want to do an extensive renovation of my home, can the Harvest program work for me?
A. Yes is the short answer. The appraisal takes into account the scope of work for each project. But
the renovation has to be extensive to justify the costs of the program.
Q. How do you handle neighborhood opposition and the emotional ties to the old structure?
A. Cities grow via redevelopment and a rising tax base. We can’t make more land so redevelopment of neighborhoods is inevitable, but you don’t have to be mean about it. Our crews are very sensitive to the surrounding neighbors and try to be respectful of these buildings scheduled for re-use or redevelopment. We realize that lives have been lived there, homes supporting families and making memories, etc., and there is an emotional impact on the remaining neighbors and we are respectful of that. Our sites are impeccably clean, with materials bundled and wrapped for transport and all trash contained daily. No dogs running around or loud noise disturbing the peace. Plus, dirty, disorganized sites indicate the type of workmanship you are getting and are disrespectful to the project. A clean organized site is also a safer work site with reduced tripping hazards or hidden dangers.
Q. I’ve never heard of this program, how do you get your donors?
A. Word of mouth, just like she used to obtain clients in her former career as a luxury home architect and builder, Linda Eales the founder and Executive Director of Harvest Eco-Salvage, has developed relationships with many of the finest builders and realtors in the area. In addition to the referrals from builders and realtors, donors tell their friends, their tax professionals tell other clients, neighbors tell neighbors and now with several repeat donors the circle keeps expanding.
Q. Can I bring my kids to the site and help you break up walls with a sledgehammer?
A. No, this is not HGTV, this is not demolition, this is a de-construction project , often with live water and power, and holes in the floor. We don’t use sledgehammers, we use flashlights and pry bars - carefully. Plus our insurance agent would probably stroke out!
Q. Can I volunteer to help you de-construct?
A. Thank you but no. This is a full time job and everyone working on our site is earning a paycheck and has verified construction experience.
Q. Who needs used building materials?
A. Besides frugal do-it-yourselfers and handymen, there are many groups that need and appreciate
the materials we harvest. In addition to our social service partners who help improve the lives of our low-income citizens we have also found that the arts and theater community are very creative with re-purposing materials. Large scale chandeliers and doors, brightly colored carpets and massive draperies are perfect stagecraft. Iron railings, unique hardware, window frames and pieces of fixtures become great found art. Leftover latex paint, all mixed together, becomes primmer for sets, murals and canvases. Cast iron bath tubs are great cooling stations or water troughs for animal rescue groups. Fencing, shade sails, durable outdoor storage is always needed by many of our Non-Profit partners. We are constantly looking for new qualified groups to offer materials too.
Linda Eales is the founder and Executive Director with over 20 years of experience in de-construction and environmentally sensitive demolition. In conjunction with her Architectural practice Linda co-founded The Eco-Logic foundation in 1999. Linda had a rewarding 42 year career designing custom homes, she was also a licensed General Contractor, Building Inspector, Plans Examiner and Green Building Expert. She was a founding member of the Scottsdale Green Building Advisory Board, has had her design work published several times and has received awards and public recognition for her civic philanthropy. She now devotes her time to this "second career" exclusively.
Her first hand construction experience with the massive quantities of materials taken to landfills with standard demolition prompted her to find a better way to reclaim, recycle and re-use these materials while reducing waste. Her curious mind led her ask questions and research options that others may have not explored. Now retired from her architectural and contracting businesses she has turned her full focus on Harvest eco-salvage as her second career coming full circle to now making monetary, social and environmental sense of urban redevelopment and the changing landscape of residential and commercial properties.
Linda is a people person, a problem solver and an innovator, but she doesn't do this alone. Everyone associated with Harvest eco-salvage, is a kindred spirit and has the same types of multi-leveled experience and dedication to our program. The staff and associates of Harvest eco-salvage have decades of combined experience in construction, business management, regulatory compliance, appraisals and valuation, accounting and real estate development. What we all share in common is we don't mind stepping out of the box to consider new ways to improve upon our goals to leave our environment and our community better than we have found it. We deliver innovation based upon real world experience.