Research looks at blight fight, recycling building materials

Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 06, 2016

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University researchers will use nearly $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to examine whether recycling and repurposing building materials is an effective way to deal with blighted areas.

Rex LaMore, director of the East Lansing school’s Center for Community and Economic Development, is partnering with the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Planning Commission on the study of policies, practices and consequences of human abandonment.

They’re calling the field of research “domicology.”

The test site will be the city of Muskegon, which researchers say has more than 3,000 abandoned residential and commercial properties. They want to look at whether traditional demolition is the best bet or if materials should be reused and repurposed.

Those involved note Muskegon’s port can handle material from around the Great Lakes region.