Forklift Forward

Community Forklift (currently located in an industrial area on the outskirts of Hyattsville, MD) is undertaking an intensive search for a new location.  The landlord of our current 3.25-acre property, Washington Gas (and its new owner, Alta Gas LTD.), plans to discontinue intensive commercial use of the site. This change in use will require that we relocate our operations to an alternative site at some point.

Community Forklift is open at its current site and will remain so until a new site is located and readied for a move. Please continue to visit us at 4671 Tanglewood Dr. in the Edmonston/Hyattsville, MD, area!


ABOUT US

Community Forklift opened in late 2005 in its current 40,000 square foot warehouse. As an integral part of the Port Towns community in Prince George’s County, we collect donations of unwanted and salvaged building materials from all over the DMV and make them available to the community at low cost in our reuse warehouse. We also distribute free supplies to nonprofits and neighbors in need and offer public education and events centered on reuse, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

Our operation is largely self-funded through the process of reselling used materials and working with other local, small businesses to generate operating revenue. By soliciting and processing donated building materials that would have been sent to the landfill, Community Forklift converts waste into a community asset that catalyzes economic, housing, and community revitalization. We are a pioneer in the green industry, working to lift up the community through reuse while promoting the triple bottom line of people, planet, and prosperity through job creation and reuse.

Community Forklift diverts usable materials (surplus and salvaged residential building materials, new and vintage household goods, tools, hardware, utilitarian and upscale furnishings, and the weird and wacky) from the landfill and turns them into community assets in the form of wages, small business resources, and free home improvement supplies for individuals, families, and local organizations. As the largest reuse center for residential and commercial construction materials in the metro DC region, Community Forklift is one of the largest and most successful reuse operations in the country.

As a community aggregator of people, resources, and creativity, Community Forklift utilizes the embedded value in used materials to provide community events, workshops, and social and environmental justice advocacy.

  • Staying open for services 362 days per year and serving over 72,000 visitors yearly
  • Diverting over $45 million of usable materials from local landfills
  • Providing over $975,000 in free materials to households with limited income and community organizations
  • Directly impacting over 580,000 individuals through the provision of free materials
  • Creating 30+ good green local jobs with starting wages of $17 per hour and extensive benefits
  • Employing “returning citizens” and those with employment barriers
  • Partnering with hundreds of nonprofits, community groups, local governments, businesses, the District of Columbia, Prince George’s County, and the State of Maryland

For more information, please visit our Press Room.


THE SEARCH

Our nonprofit — in partnership with Washington Gas — is looking to identify another location for our innovative community building programs. We are currently reviewing finances and lending opportunities. We are also working with real estate experts, local government officials, and pro bono professionals to put together a workable plan for relocation. Washington Gas has committed to ensuring our continued success.

A new home will also offer an opportunity for growth and change! While Community Forklift has made the current historic location a home for 17 years, we intend to find a new location that will enable us to grow our mission, services, and support for our community and staff. Our goal is to provide more education, more reuse, and the same far below-market prices on materials to the community and surrounding region.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

It will take a good deal of planning, funding, and support to successfully relocate. In response, we are launching our “FORKLIFT FORWARD” campaign to gather support and raise funds. We welcome and encourage those who can provide financial support and/or assistance in identifying resources. Forklift Fans who have relationships in commercial real estate, in public relations, in the political sphere, and in nonprofit fundraising: please send ideas for how you can help to ForkliftForward@CommunityForklift.org.

The community in Community Forklift is what really matters. We love the stuff but it is really all about people. The continued support of shoppers, volunteers, and donors of materials and funds will help Community Forklift to successfully relocate and thrive. Thank you!


FAQ

Is Community Forklift closing?
In short, no! We are still located at 4671 Tanglewood Dr. in Hyattsville/Edmonston, MD, and will continue to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Does Community Forklift have to move?
Not yet. In partnership with Washington Gas (and its new parent company Alta Gas LTD), Community Forklift is seeking to identify another location where our nonprofit can continue its innovative community building programs.

What will happen to Community Forklift’s current building?
Washington Gas plans to discontinue intensive commercial use of the current site and their plans for its future are unknown.

What is the timeframe?
We are working as quickly as possible but it will take some time. So stay tuned.

Where will Community Forklift go?
We don’t know yet, but you better believe we will shout it from the rooftops. We know the new location needs to be fairly close to the urban DMV area, provide services to under-resourced communities, and provide easy access to everyone who wants to take advantage of all that we offer: low cost materials, classes, workshops, and free materials for neighbors in need and local organizations.

What can a new home offer?
Opportunity for growth and change! While Community Forklift has made this historic location a home for 17 years, we intend to find a new location that will enable us to grow our mission, our services, and our support for our community and staff. Our goal is to provide more education, more reuse, and the same far below-market prices on materials to our community and the surrounding region.

How can I help?
Community Forklift is all about the people: our community, our staff, and everyone who visits our store. Your continued support as shoppers, volunteers, and donors of materials and funds will help us achieve our goal of moving in the next several years.

We also welcome professional volunteers with expertise in commercial/industrial real estate, marketing, fundraising development, financing, and business.

The move will be an expensive undertaking, so we welcome and encourage those who can provide financial support and/or assistance in identifying funding resources. Please donate below or contact ForkliftForward@CommunityForklift.org.


More Information

Press Resources
List of Partner Organizations
Press Received