We need garden tools & patio furniture

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Antiques & Vintage, Blog, Donation Development, Events, Gardening, Parties at Community Forklift | 0 comments

We need garden tools & patio furniture

Cleaning out your shed, or refreshing your lawn & garden supplies for the coming season? Please consider donating your gently-used tools, decor, and outdoor furniture to the ‘Lift!

We’re busy collecting donations to get ready for our 10th Annual Garden Party & Spring Fundraiser. It’s coming up on April 6th, but we need time to process and organize the donated items beforehand, so please bring us your garden supplies soon.

It’s easy to donate

  • patio and porch furniture
  • lawn and garden supplies in working condition (hand tools, hoses, power tools, & mowers)
  • decorative and landscaping items (pottery, birdbaths, arbors, lighting, edging, brick, & stone).

You can drop off donations at our warehouse seven days a week, from 9 am to 6:30 pm. We also offer a free pick up service – just visit our donations page to get more info or request a pickup.

Other ways to help your favorite reuse nonprofit

Don’t have anything to donate for our Garden Party? You can still help the cause!

  • Please share this message with your friends, coworkers, neighborhood groups, and landscaping pros to encourage them to donate their gently-used garden supplies.
  • Or, sign up for a volunteer shift – we will need lots of help to get ready, and to setup and cleanup on April 6th.


The Garden Party is the Forklift’s biggest fundraiser each year! Proceeds support our work to turn the construction waste stream into resources for the DC metro region. Your donations will help us create green jobs for people with barriers to employment; reduce waste; educate the public about reuse; and provide free supplies to neighbors in need, local nonprofits, and community gardens.

Work with us

Posted by on Mar 9, 2019 in Blog, Green Jobs and Job Creation, News | 0 comments

Work with us

Ever thought about working at your favorite reuse warehouse? If you love the ‘Lift, your community, and green business, we may have the job for you!

Community Forklift is currently hiring for full and part-time positions:

Donations Logistics Coordinator

We’re seeking a full-time person who will be primarily responsible for managing donor relations and the logistics of residential and organizational donation pickups. We need someone with excellent record-keeping abilities and strong customer service skills. The ideal candidate will also have prior experience as a commercial driver (CDL not required)!

Community Builders

We’re growing our outreach team, and need extroverted part-timers who can talk to the public at community festivals, help host special events, assist workshop presenters in our classroom, and lead volunteer groups at our warehouse. If you’re extremely outgoing, want occasional work, and are committed to the environmental and community work we do, we want to hear from you!
Hours vary according to your availability and our needs, but our busiest seasons are weekends in April – June and September – November.


Community Forklift turns the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.

Students make a big statement with small scraps

Posted by on Mar 8, 2019 in Blog, Community Giving Programs, Ideas for Reuse, News, Non-profit partners | 0 comments

Students make a big statement with small scraps
At Arcola Elementary School, 4th graders in Samantha Nachlas’ art class are making drawings of their community which will be transformed into a mosaic.

Wheaton Arts Parade (WAP) is a local nonprofit that celebrates art, cultural diversity, and the revitalization of the Wheaton area; a recently established Arts & Entertainment District in Montgomery County, Maryland. This year, WAP is creating two community mosaics that are supported in part by grants from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and a Community Building Blocks (CBB) grant from Community Forklift. Through our CBB program, WAP collected an array of vintage stained glass and tiles that will be incorporated in the design of both mosaics.

We sometimes get stained glass windows that are beyond repair. We don’t want to throw out beautiful vintage glass, so it’s always exciting when someone has a use for the scraps!

Dan Thompson, Executive Director of WAP, further explains the mission behind their project:

“Part of the effort to engage Wheaton’s diverse cultures led to the creation of the Community Mosaic Project which is focused on bringing members of Wheaton’s large Spanish-speaking community together to make to two large mosaics for public display at the Arcola Elementary School and at the Pembridge Square and Amherst Garden Apartments. One project is lead by WAP artists Loretta Dipanda, Sofia Hart, and Pattie Curtiss in cooperation with Arcola’s art teacher, Samantha Nachlas, and the other project is let by WAP artists Edwin Salmeron, Ge’Vonna Keyes, and Sally Garcia in cooperation with the Montgomery Housing Partnership. Working together in the classroom, in an after-school program, and in the evenings with families and neighbors, the community is creating mosaics that represent their roots, their perception of their adopted town, and their vision of the community’s future. WAP was pleased to find an organization like Community Forklift that shared its values and generously offered to provide glass and tiles to become part of the Wheaton mosaic. Both organizations rely upon donations and volunteer efforts to help revitalize the community and the work is never more rewarding than when it enables a community to express itself by making art. “

The Community Mosaics are expected to be completed in April and will be displayed at WAP’s third annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival on September 22, 2019, before they are permanently installed at the elementary school and apartments. We can’t wait to see the final product!

You’re invited to the Garden Party!

Posted by on Mar 7, 2019 in Blog, Community Happenings, Community Happenings, Events, Fundraising, Gardening, Green Living, News, Parties at Community Forklift | 0 comments

You’re invited to the Garden Party!

Join us for a fun-filled event celebrating the return of spring and the gardening season!

Throughout the day you can chat with gardening professionals, purchase plants, and attend free workshops, but the party starts with our highly anticipated tool sale: Throughout the winter, we collect gently-used and surplus lawn and garden supplies as well as outdoor décor and furniture. Then, we release it all at the Garden Party for your shopping pleasure! The sale begins at 9am on Saturday, but folks start lining up outside the gates even earlier, eager to dig through piles of flowerpots and shovels. (If you can’t get there in the morning, don’t worry – our staff continues to bring out items throughout the day.)

Note to early birds:  No lawn and garden supplies are out yet.  The Forklift will not have any garden items available until 9am on April 6.

The party starts at 10am!

There will be prizes for people and pets dressed in garden party finery. So find yourself a dapper suit or fancy hat, and check out all the activities in store for you!

More partners and details are coming soon, but here’s what we can share right now:

Local Experts, Teachers, and Vendors

Anacostia Watershed Society
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Colmar Manor Garden Club
Cultivate the City
ECO City Farms
Elements of Nature
Hyattsville Horticulture Society
MOM’s Organic Market
Sol Nectar Farm
Studio AKA
Prince George’s County Master Gardener Program
Veteran Compost

FREE Workshops

Click each title to learn more and RSVP!

The Benefits of Beekeeping ~ A Labor of Love, presented by Josh Calo of Sol Nectar Farm

Sustainable Home Landscapes, presented by Dani Alexander of Studio AKA

Home Composting Tips & Techniques, presented by Fritz Gottschalk of Veteran Compost

Live Music 

Roxanne Jarrett (10am-11am)
Fusions? Standards? You never know what to expect from Roxanne Jarrett, a Jamaican-American singer raised in New York City. Trained in Opera, Broadway, Folk and Jazz, she sings in 5 languages and performs in the infectious language of joy.

The Vico Cycle (12pm-1pm)
The Vico Cycle is a group of like-minded musicians based in the Washington, DC metro area who blend rock, funk, blues, soul, & hip-hop into a lively fusion of raw sound.

HüsBand (2pm-3pm)
HüsBand plays original melodic pop with a lyrical bite. This quartet of local musicians blends diverse musical influences to hone their own groove of rhythm and rhyme. Reflective, driving, and laid-back, all at the same time.F

Delicious local food from County Manners

County Manners is brought to you by Chef Jeremy; a true “County Boy” at heart with deep roots in Southern Maryland. His passion for food was built on cooking fresh caught fish over a campfire on the Potomac River. He created a unique concept by combining traditions passed on to him by family and his years of experience as chefs. “I look forward to bringing you the best of what Southern Maryland has to offer.”


Activities for the whole family, including FREE face painting by Signs, Wonders, & Gifts!

Proceeds from the Garden Party support our work to create green jobs, reduce waste, educate the public about reuse, and provide free supplies to nonprofits and neighbors in need.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the 2019 Garden Party, please click here to see our current sponsorship opportunities.

So invite your friends, and start planning your stylish garden party ensemble!

This Saturday: Swap Sustainably

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Blog, Community Happenings, Community Happenings, Events, Green Living, Ideas for Reuse, News | 0 comments

This Saturday: Swap Sustainably


Join us in the Community Forklift classroom for a unisex, family-friendly clothing swap!

Have you been holding onto that pair of jeans you’ve outgrown, or that gift that really just wasn’t you? Maybe your style has entirely changed. Your rags are someone else’s treasure!

The premise is simple: Bring a bag of clothes you no longer wear and trade it in for clothes you will!
And even better than that, you can upcycle what you find by cutting and remaking it into something entirely new.

How it works:
* Bring a bag or more of clean, gently used clothes
* Modify your finds at any of the DIY Stations
* Take as much as you can carry!

RSVP and spread the word on Facebook.

Cost to participate: $5
Proceeds will benefit the Port Towns Community Development Corporation, and any leftover clothes will be picked up and donated by GreenDrop!

Forklift wins NARI Metro DC’s Community Service Award

Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Billboard, Blog, Community Giving Programs, Donation Development, Donor Profiles, News, Our Partners, What others are saying | 0 comments

Forklift wins NARI Metro DC’s Community Service Award

We are excited to announce that the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Metro DC Chapter has presented Community Forklift with a 2019 Achievement Award for Community Service.

Each year, the NARI Metro DC Chapter recognizes those who have achieved excellence in their trade, service to the community, and all-around image. The Community Service Award is given to a NARI member who has donated time, materials, and energy to help individuals and groups in need. This award is judged on value of contribution to community over time and potential future benefits.

Nancy J. Meyer, CEO of Community Forklift, accepted the Community Service Award at NARI’s annual Evening of Excellence gala on February 9th, 2019 in Vienna, VA. 

((left to right) Forklifters Ruthie Mundell, Nancy J. Meyer, and Jon Zeidler

Community Forklift serves local communities in many ways:

  • Diverting tons of reusable materials from local landfills each year.
  • Acting as an economic engine for the community by offering affordable supplies for repair, renovations, small business start-up and entrepreneurs, property owners and landlords, and artisans.
  • Providing free appliances, building materials, and furniture to neighbors in need and local nonprofits. The Forklift has distributed approximately $400,000 worth of free supplies since 2011.
  • Creating good green jobs with benefits, hiring returning citizens and others with barriers to traditional employment, and partnering with DC’s Project Empowerment workforce development program.
  • Hosting 32 service-learning days in 2018 to teach adult volunteers and students about reuse, and providing summer internships for local students from the Port Towns Youth Council.
  • Offering 25 educational workshops in 2018 to educate the public about reuse, home repair, and green living.
  • Producing monthly gatherings with live music and artists, creating a free social gathering spot for the local community.

We want to thank NARI Metro DC for this recognition, and for being a strong partner for our nonprofit. Chapter members actively spread the word about us, and have sent us many generous donations of building materials over the years. To be publicly acknowledged with NARI’s Community Service Award is truly an honor.

About Community Forklift

Community Forklift turns the construction waste stream into a resource stream for local communities. The nonprofit picks up donations of new and gently-used building materials, working appliances, and vintage furniture throughout the DC region.  These items are offered to the public at low cost, sold online, and provided free to nonprofits and neighbors in need. Their 40,000 square-foot reuse center is open to the public from from 9am – 7pm seven days a week, and is located at 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, MD 20781 (in the Port Towns neighborhood, near the Hyattsville Arts District, just outside NE DC). / 301-985-5180

About NARI:

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor. Members are full-time, dedicated, remodeling industry professionals who follow a strict code of ethics with high standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility.  NARI Metro DC is one of the largest chapters in the country and adheres to very strict guidelines for membership. / 703-400-1858

Ray Stroud, Salvage Superhero

Posted by on Feb 27, 2019 in Blog, Forklifter Profiles, Green Jobs and Job Creation | 0 comments

Ray Stroud, Salvage Superhero

Behind the scenes at Community Forklift, coworkers are as close to each other as with their friends and families. There is nothing more important than assembling a great team, so hiring decisions at the ‘Lift are critical.

Ray is one of the people making reuse happen in the warehouse every day. Ray came to us through DC’s Project Empowerment, a program that works to place people who have barriers to traditional employment. Project Empowerment runs an intensive training session for three weeks and provides support and job coaching, teaches their students to rise above personal challenges and to focus on developing a positive attitude in the workplace. They develop speaking and interviewing skills, build resumes, and teach students to advocate for themselves.

Ray’s quiet determination and building maintenance experience stood out among the many Project Empowerment candidates we have interviewed, and we knew he was right for our team. Ray started at Community Forklift by attending orientation and trainings, learning about reuse and Forklift’s mission. His goal was to land a permanent job. Ray says time flew by while he was here: “There is never a dull moment at Community Forklift.”

Ray and coworkers accept a donation while dressed up for our 2018 Garden Party

Ray’s placement through Project Empowerment lasted four months, and when it was over, we did not have an opening to hire him. But we could not let him go! He was a hard worker, and had proven himself over and over. Working at Forklift is challenging, physical work, and Ray ran circles around guys who were half his age. Everyone looked up to him. Ray finally joined the Forklift team in September 2017, as a Receiving & Processing (R&P) Associate. He has since risen through the ranks and is now the R&P Coordinator, overseeing all donations that come in to the warehouse from individual donors and our daily truck routes.

In early 2018, Ray developed some serious health issues. We all held our breath as he underwent multiple surgeries and spent weeks in the hospital. We kept in touch through his family and scrambled to cover the huge hole his absence left in the warehouse. It was a tough time. Ray eventually made a full recovery, and we are thrilled to have him back.

There is a reason we call our staff, “Salvage Superheroes”—They are amazing and talented people who are pushing grassroots change. These are the people who are powering this generation’s green revolution, working to lift up our community, and make reuse happen. Ray is just one of the 24% of our staff who are returning citizens, or have barriers to traditional employment. When people have access to good jobs with benefits, they are able to overcome challenges, contribute in a positive and meaningful way, and create a better path forward for themselves and their families. We at Community Forklift are the lucky ones. As Nancy J. Meyer, our CEO, likes to say: “It’s not about the stuff, it’s about the people.”


Community Forklift aims to turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by diverting landfill waste, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating green jobs. Every dollar you spend in our warehouse helps us lift up local communities through reuse.

Just a few days left to vote: Help us win Best Green Business of 2019

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Blog, Events, News | 0 comments

Just a few days left to vote:  Help us win Best Green Business of 2019

Your favorite local salvage warehouse needs your help defending our Best Green Business title! The City Paper’s Best of DC contest ends this weekend, so please take a moment to vote for us and your other local hangouts. It’s quick and does so much to support your favorite small businesses and nonprofits.

To vote for the ‘Lift, select the “Goods & Services” category, then scroll down to “Best Green Business” and write us in.

Then, share our post and ask your friends to vote too! We’ve won this title every year since 2015, and winning earns us valuable free publicity. The more folks who discover us, shop here, and donate, the more money and resources stay embedded in the local economy, creating green jobs and supporting our free educational workshops and community giving programs. We’re so grateful for your support!


Community Forklift aims to turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by diverting landfill waste, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating green jobs. Every dollar you spend in our warehouse helps us lift up local communities through reuse.

Community Forklift was featured on Retail, Reformed!

Posted by on Feb 20, 2019 in Blog, Forklifter Profiles, News, What others are saying | 0 comments

Community Forklift was featured on Retail, Reformed!

Retail, Reformed is a web series about creative entrepreneurs who are building a better world. It’s like the “How I Built This” podcast, focused on socially-conscious businesses. We have some exciting news:

Today’s episode is all about Community Forklift!

Ruthie Mundell has been with the Forklift since 2005. In her interview, she shares behind-the-scenes stories and explains how we grew from a scrappy startup into a salvage success.

Ruthie and fellow Forklifter Jon Zeidler, organizing the warehouse in January 2006. Photo by Allison Pasek, The Gazette

To hear her interview and more, you don’t have to use a podcast service or download an app – it comes through your email. Just sign up at
(Sign up is free. You’ll receive a new interview each day along with special discounts from the Forklift and all the other cool businesses. You can unsubscribe at any point.. but we bet you won’t!)

Here’s more from Ruthie about the series:

Dear friends:

Over my years at the ‘Lift, I have learned that it is a monumental task to grow a retail operation and serve customers well. As a consumer who makes purchases every week, I also know how time-consuming and frustrating shopping can be. On top of that, I want to be true to my values and support businesses that are as concerned about people and the planet as they are about profit… but that gets really challenging!

That’s why I am thrilled to share Retail Reformed, your guide to socially conscious brands, shopping without remorse and making a difference with every purchase.

Host Sarah Bayot (founder/owner of Kicheko Goods) interviews business people and experts across multiple industries – all who are committed to creating a better world.

Imagine a world where profitable and purposeful business contributes to each other’s well-being, solves social and environmental problems, and makes connection. That’s a world I want to be part of, and I bet you do too.

From impact investing and travel agencies preserving craft technique and innovating how we travel, to shops that support independent artists and shopping local, and fashion companies that are closing the loop on waste, you will come away aware, empowered, and motivated to take your next step toward a more sustainable life.

One important way to make change is by voting with your dollars. What if we declared “Yes” for ethical fashion, less waste, healthier products, and connected communities?

These interviews are real, short, and inspiring. The best part is that this series is FREE! Just sign up at Retail Reformed to listen. Let me know what you think about my interview, and I do hope you’ll share the series with a friend.

See you around the warehouse!

Ruthie Mundell

Yes, we’re open on Presidents Day – and we’re having a Storewide Sale!

Posted by on Feb 18, 2019 in Blog, Flash Sale, Flash Sale, Holidays and Long Weekends, Sales, Sales & Hot Items | 0 comments

Yes, we’re open on Presidents Day – and we’re having a Storewide Sale!

Take 40% off almost everything

From 9am to 7pm on Monday, Feb. 18th, save on appliances, tile, granite & marble counters, furniture, cabinetry, lighting, doors, windows, shutters, mantels, sinks, architectural salvage, and much, much more.

We received some very nice rugs this week –
and yes, they’re included in the sale!

Sale does not apply to select specialty items, items sold online, or items from our consignment partners. Items with missing or damaged price tags will not be sold. May not be combined with other sales.

Click here for more photos

(The good stuff goes fast on holiday weekends, so we can’t guarantee that all items pictured will still be here when you arrive).


Plus, a reminder:

Select the “Goods & Services” Category, then scroll down to “Best Green Business” and write in Community Forklift.

If we win, more homeowners and contractors will learn they can donate to us. This means less waste, more jobs created, more supplies for neighbors in need… and more great bargains for you!