Biz Buzz Monday: New business finds purpose for discarded materials

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Maquoketa, Iowa, we will highlight developments from Dubuque and Galena, Ill., in Tuesday’s edition.

A business with an emphasis on reuse has opened a new location in Maquoketa.

Repurposed Materials opened a facility — its fourth in the country — at 1725 E. Maple St. last week, according to owner Damon Carson.

The business was founded about a decade ago in Colorado and has since added locations in Texas and South Carolina.

Locations sell a variety of materials that no longer can serve their original purposes — such as fire hoses or wood from bowling alleys — but can still be used in another way.

“We think of it as an industrial thrift store,” Carson said. “These items may be retired or decommissioned from their original use, but we’re able to find people that can use these things for something else.”

Carson used to own a garbage-collection business. That experience allowed him to see items that businesses were discarding — and in many instances, he believes such materials could still serve a viable purpose.

“Ninety percent of the stuff was actually garbage,” he recalled. “About 10% of the stuff, you’d look at it and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with this.’”

Repurposed Materials counts landscapers, livestock owners and “do-it-yourselfers” across the country as key customers.

The Maquoketa facility will help the company distribute products to customers throughout the U.S. Carson emphasized that the business is also open to local residents who want to stop into the facility from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

He believes there are plenty of “resourceful people” who will find a purpose for the items on sale.

“I love buying things that are used,” he said. “I wear used clothes. I bought a truck with 180,000 miles on it. I am very familiar with the waste in America and believe there is still a use for many of the items that would normally end up in a landfill.”

Repurposed Materials can be reached at 303-321-1471. More information is available online at