I got a free truckload of plywood and 2X4s and 4X4s that were sets for plays at the high school. The paint schemes were a little weird, but hey, I ain't proud.
Yeah, I try to salvage and re-use whenever possible. Many years ago I got a big trailer load of old wood shelf boards from an auto parts store that was upgrading. I noticed the half-busted up pile and they were happy to let me take what I could, so I busted them up and took them all (just the shelf boards, not the 2x4s that held them up). They were 75 years old (like the shop) and still perfectly straight after decades of auto parts resting on them. Many were also covered with silt from the flood 10 years prior, and they were all 3/4" thick by 16" wide and very heavy for their size. Like "Holy shit how can these possibly be so heavy?" heavy.
After I ran a few through a planer I realized they were all old-growth, white pine heartwood. They don't grow wood like that anymore (takes too damned long). It ended up becoming all of the interior trim and shelving of the strawbale house my gf and I built. It was gorgeous, and priceless since you can't buy that stuff nowadays unless it was pulled off of something being demolished. So our materials budget for all the top-quality interior trim we needed was zero dollars (just a few hours of work).
One of my uncles was a teacher on a military base in Germany, and told of many millions of dollars worth of perfectly good computer equipment (back when millions of dollars was actually a lot) being "disposed of" by smashing it up and tossing it into a landfill since it was determined that it was too much of a hassle to ship it back to the U.S. or sell it as surplus. It was every bit as appalling as you'd expect, and they weren't even dumping it in the ocean to make it all disappear, which is the other popular approach since the military is exempt from environmental regs.
It might be time to start a side project teaching people how to tear things down safely and carefully so as to recover as much useful material as possible since America appears to be entering a period of mass homelessness. It will be an essential skill to have for those who find themselves among the legions of homeless as next Winter approaches.
And that might include a lot of people who are not presently concerned about being homeless; having the financial ability to weather the economic disaster is no guarantee that one's dwelling won't go up in flames along with the rest of the neighborhood, depending on where one happens to live and how the upcoming Summer of Rage that hasn't even begun yet plays out.
Wait, what was this thread about again?