I considered how to repair the damage to my house caused by hurricane katrina. I navigated through the maze of insurance reports, papers to file, city building permits, ICC claims, flood elevations, greenspace, and consideration for future safety of the house.
One thing was clear, insurance provides replacement cost of like items. This meant that insurance companies consider the fact that your objects were not new, and will provide you funds to replace the object with another not new item. Is this fair? It doesn't really matter.
Another thing was apparent from the very beginning. This event generated a lot of waste. A tremendous pile of drywall and furniture dominated the side of the road once people started their home gutting in earnest. It was like a snowbank on a Buffalo, NY street. You couldn't see the houses behind it. From the city of New Orleans website, there was an estimate 25 million cubic yards of trash generated: LDEQ estimates a total of 25 million cubic yards of storm related debris (equates to football field one mile high)[from http://cityofno.com/Portals/Portal35/portal.aspx?tabid=38 ]
These factors, a sense of the inferior quality and disposable nature of many products sold by big box construction stores, thrift, and hating senseless waste contributed to a decision that was made. Wherever possible, recycled materials would be used in the renovation.