What is a salvage yard?

A salvage yard, scrapyard or junkyard is the location of a business where they either dismantle or store usable products and sell for parts or as a whole.

Why are salvage yards good for the environment?

Salvage yards are beneficial to the environment because they minimize waste and pollution while salvaging usable items that can be up-cycled or repurposed, all while following the government’s environmental laws and regulations.

Kilkenny’s Architectural Salvage & Antiques

Orla took a trip to meet the people who own Kilkenny’s Architectural Salvage & Antiques.

It is one of Ireland’s largest architectural salvage yards.

They stock a mix of unique garden furniture pieces, building materials, solid timber flooring, and simple chimney pots. The yard have a large variety of antique, reproduction, and salvaged materials available on-site.

Member of the family run business Harry Maharage spoke to Oral about the work they do.

“I’m one of the middle brother of the family business here and it’s Kilkenny Architectural Salvage and yeah we’re based at the Old Wollin Mills down on the Bleach Road a couple of minutes outside Kilkenny City Centre”.

Harry, his father and two brothers run Kilkenny Architectural Salvage and it sits on the banks of the River Nore on expansive land.

Harry said: “My granny and granddad basically bought this site back in the 50s or 60s and it was an Old Woolen Mills back in the 1900s. There is a huge amount of history here.

Harry continued to say: “There are lots of old buildings here. We’re very lucky. We have six or seven acres of outdoor space and three, four thousand square foot of warehouse full of everything and anything you can think of.”


“Our job is to kind of keep it as interesting and fun for people when they come down and that really stems from who we’re buying from and that’s from buying from the general public.

“Maybe you just have a few pieces of furniture you’re looking to move on  or maybe somebody is downsizing and they don’t have the space anymore. Maybe somebody has passed away and the contents of the house are not needed and the pieces are being sold on.

“We could be going into a pub, a restaurant, or a five star hotel when they’re renovating and doing a clearance, so that’s what gives the real eclectic mix. You can find anything from garden furniture, old gates, timber flooring, beams, pub memorabilia, general furniture and more.

“You really just don’t know what’s going to be coming in and people often ask some of the weirdest things we’ve had in. We’ve sold everything from confession boxes to life-size horses made of buffalo bone all the way down to a brick.”

Why does this work help the environment? 

Harry says the family and the business pride themselves on the work they do in helping to re-home unwanted items.

“The amount of stuff that he has brought in here that would potentially have ended up in landfills.

“It’s incredible to even think about the amount of items!”.

Harry and his family have also seen a change in people’s attitude to things they don’t need anymore.

“At the end of the day, I think people are becoming more and more aware of the damage that’s doing and the importance of kind of the circular economy.

“The most important thing on all of these second hand items is their carbon footprint is zero because they’re a second hand item, they’ve run their life already when they were initially made, they were used. Technically now, when you look at any of the EPA stats or anything, any second hand good like that, there is no carbon footprint from it.

“So, you know, you really are doing your little bit. More often than not, when you buy something that’s salvaged, you have a bit of a, a bit of a grá for it then yourself.”

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