As green remodeling and jobsite recycling gain popularity, a new sawmill smack dab in the middle of urban New Jersey is giving remodelers a unique option to reuse lumber harvested from the “urban forest.”

Newark, N.J., is not typically the first place you would think of if you had to find a sawmill, but that's where CitiLog is located. On a four-acre site in one of the busiest parts of the Garden State, remodelers can find lumber that has been reclaimed from trees that grew up in the city rather than in a lumber forest.

Limbs and trees put out by the side of the road by homeowners also find their way into CitiLog’s creations. Several local municipalities pick up the roadside wood piles and deliver them, saving local taxpayers thousands of dollars each year in landfill fees.

The idea for CitiLog came from Stubby Warmbold, a transplanted Canadian who spent a career in the lumber industry. “I don’t like the notion of wasting good wood,” Warmbold says, adding that the company’s model centers on making sure that trees grown in the city become lumber that is consumed in the city.

Upcycling: A Green Circle of Life

The products that CitiLog has created for its customers run the gamut from decking, stairs, and millwork to fencing, furniture, and even awards plaques. The “upcycling” process that CitiLog uses is pretty straightforward: as trees come down for whatever reason, CitiLog picks them up and transports them to its mill where they are turned into beautiful architectural features and then transported to the jobsite. If a customer doesn't have any wood to be used, there is plenty to be had in CitiLog’s own lumberyard.

One of the residential projects that CitiLog contributed to was the very first Platinum LEED-certified home in Connecticut. Built by Picton Brothers, in Washington Depot, Conn., a company that was so committed to building green for this home — a classic Connecticut farmhouse — that it contracted with CitiLog to provide kitchen cabinets and interior millwork. The combination of the upcycled maple used in the cabinets and poplar used in the millwork contributed 3 LEED points toward certification.

One of the biggest uses of CitiLog’s products are historical renovations, according to Warmbold. “If a remodeler has a job where he needs to match existing trim or baseboard, we can help,” he says. “We are truly custom in that we make it to a person’s needs and wants. We are the epitome of a value-added company because the product goes from log to finished product on-site.”

Warmbold adds that CitiLog seldom uses wood from demolitions or deconstructions due to the dangers inherent in aerating lead paint. —Mark Newman, senior editor, REMODELING.

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Learn more about markets featured in this article: New York, NY.