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Renovating or Remodeling? Make Your Waste Count by Donating Your Reusable Materials!

If you’re renovating, remodeling, or redecorating your home, consider deconstruction instead of demolition!

Deconstruction is the careful dismantling of buildings or parts of buildings in a way that enables the materials within to be reused. Harvesting home and building materials through deconstruction allows communities to generate economic, social, and environmental benefits from the project, while saving reusable materials from ending up in the landfill.

In a typical residential renovation project, a sizable portion of the materials (appliances, cabinets, doors, lighting, and more) can be deconstructed for reuse and redistributed to the community. Why pay for disposal to overcrowded landfills when you can give your goods a new life somewhere else? By donating your reusable materials to Community Forklift instead, you can save on dumping fees, keep reusable resources out of landfills, support a green nonprofit, help your local community, and enjoy a year-end tax deduction!

Community Forklift is D.C.’s hometown salvage warehouse. As a nonprofit reuse center for home goods and building supplies, our mission is to lift up local communities by making home repairs affordable, reducing waste, promoting reuse, creating green jobs, and providing essential goods for free to under-resourced residents and community organizations.

Since 2005, we have diverted over $45 million of usable materials from local landfills and converted them into community assets. We sell salvaged new and gently used building materials to the public at below-market prices at our reuse warehouse in Hyattsville, Maryland. We provide free materials to our neighbors in need and to community groups for projects that serve the greater good, impacting almost 600,000 individuals in the D.C. region. Washington City Paper readers have also voted us D.C.’s best green business every year since 2014!

How can you make a difference through reuse?

  • Salvage your materials: If you are planning to renovate, remodel, or demolish, ask your contractor to deconstruct and donate the materials rather than dump them.
  • Donate your reusable materials to nonprofits like Community Forklift: Learn more about how to donate materials, what materials to donate, and how to request a free donation pickup.
  • Advocate for reuse in your community: Practice reuse of your own materials and spread the word to friends and family. Visit our website to learn about the materials that we can accept for donation.
  • Incorporate salvaged materials into your projects: Stop by our reuse warehouse or check out our online marketplace and shop for fun, vintage, and everyday reused home and building materials.

Need some reuse inspiration? Take a look at some creative and exciting projects our Forklift community is doing with finds from our reuse warehouse:

  • Domino — D.C. designer Zoe Feldman reimagined two vintage stained glass windows into a kitchen pantry entrance
  • Architectural Digest — A remodeled D.C. Victorian row house has an upcycled dining room table base
  • Style by Emily Henderson — A Virginia home gets a makeover with a salvaged Kichler light fixture and vintage secretary desk (upcycled into a bar cart!)

To learn more about our nonprofit and how you can donate materials, visit communityforklift.org/donate or call us at (301) 985-5180. We also provide free, convenient pickup for eligible donations.

Since 2022, Community Forklift has partnered with the District’s Department of Energy & Environment through the Green Building Fund Grant Program to promote and advocate for the deconstruction of building materials and reuse among D.C. businesses and homeowners.

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