Community Forklift, a project of Sustainable Community Initiatives, is a nonprofit reuse center for home improvement supplies. We pick up donations of unwanted and salvaged building materials throughout the metro DC region. Then, we make the building materials available to the public at low cost, and provide vintage materials for restoring old homes. We also offer public education about reuse, and distribute free supplies to local nonprofits and neighbors in need.
Community Forklift lifts up local communities by making repairs affordable, reducing waste, promoting reuse, and creating green jobs.
By donating, shopping, or volunteering at Community Forklift, you help to:
Construction Waste is a BIG Problem!
Americans love to redesign their homes—we often change out materials like cabinets, appliances, and bathroom fixtures for the newest color, shape and technology. To keep up with demand, suppliers clear out leftovers and overstock, throwing away brand-new items. To make way for new construction, developers demolish old buildings, destroying old-growth lumber and antique fixtures.
As a result, building materials make up almost 40% of our nation’s solid waste stream!
Then, we buy brand new materials. To produce these new building supplies we must harvest, drill, mine, and transport natural resources across continents, causing serious environmental damage. Manufacturing the items and transporting them to stores uses even more fossil fuel, releasing carbon into the atmosphere.
We’re turning the waste stream into a resource stream!
Community Forklift is breaking this destructive cycle by finding new lives for old materials. Since 2005, we have:
Community Forklift has created a lot of green jobs and economic activity.
Building-material reuse is a solution that just makes sense. Everyone benefits from less waste, a stronger economy, and a cleaner environment!
In 2014 alone, Community Forklift helped offset over 1400 metric tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. By keeping perfectly good stuff out of the trash, we reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and incinerators Then, when homeowners and renovators can find low-cost building supplies at our warehouse, it reduces demand for brand-new items – so fewer virgin materials have to be harvested, mined, manufactured, and shipped around the world! Take a look at the following infographic to see how much of an impact we made last year.