Spreading the Word About Reuse

Hi Forklift Fans –

Recently, we’ve been hearing from a lot of ya’ll who would like to tell your friends and neighbors to donate instead of dumping! To make it a little easier for you to spread the word, here are a few paragraphs you can use.

You are welcome to post a link on your facebook page, and send it out to any tradespeople and homeowners you know. We would be especially grateful if you post it on your neighborhood listserve!

(As part of our mission to promote reuse, we also give presentations about local donation & recycling options. Just contact me at Ruthie(at)CommunityForklift.com, and I’ll come talk to your networking or trade group, neighborhood association, environmental club, alumni society, house of worship, or social group).

Thanks so much, and happy reusing!

Ruthie Mundell, Outreach & Education Director


Dear neighbors – I thought you would like to know about this terrific resource…

Renovation leftovers? Don’t toss them out – fork ‘em over to a good cause!

You know that you can donate old clothing and couches to thrift stores – but did you know that some places accept renovation leftovers, like cabinets, lumber, and doors? Community Forklift is a nonprofit thrift store for home improvement & architectural salvage. Instead of couches or clothing, they accept building materials, tools, and renovation leftovers. Donations are tax deductible, and they have a free pickup service.

The unusual name refers to their mission: Community Forklift is “lifting up communities” in the DC area by reducing waste; creating green jobs; and making repairs affordable for low-income folks, homeowners, nonprofits, and small businesses.

TO DONATE: They accept donations of reusable building materials, appliances, tools, and lawn & garden supplies. If it’s sold at Home Depot or the hardware store, and it’s still in good condition, they are probably interested. (Note that there are a a few limitations; for example, they can’t take older water-wasting toilets, or particleboard doors that have been exposed to moisture). There is a lot of info at www.CommunityForklift.com/donation.cfm – just scroll to the bottom and click on each category for details.

You can drop off donation Tuesday through Sunday, at least 30 minutes before closing time. However, it you have a larger donation, just schedule a pickup at http://communityforklift.com/pickups.cfm

Even if they can’t accept your item, they may be able to help you figure out what to do with it. Lots of reuse and recycling options are listed at www.CommunityForklift.com/links.cfm.

TO SHOP: Want to green your home on a budget? Reclaimed materials are just the ticket! Choosing to reuse saves you money – Community Forklift’s prices are 30-90% below the big box stores. It is also gentler on the environment, because you aren’t using energy to extract, manufacture, and transport virgin materials.

Almost everything in the huge warehouse would have otherwise gone to the landfill, from surplus windows still in the package, to beautiful antique mantelpieces. Instead, the items are put to good use by local homeowners, small businesses, and nonprofits that repair substandard housing. They also offer sustainable products from a variety of partners, including Treeincarnation lumber, Alco Appliances, and Salvage Arts architectural items.

HOURS & DIRECTIONS: Their truck picks up donations throughout the DC metro region. The huge warehouse store is located inside the Beltway in the Hyattsville area, just outside the NE DC line in the Port Towns area. They are open Tuesday – Sunday. For hours and directions, visit www.CommunityForklift.com or call 301-985-5180.