Monday, September 6, 2010

A Letter from our Recycling Pal Cathy

Dear DC Recycler,

I'm writing to sing the praises of my latest recycling find in the DC area, Community Forklift. I'm expanding my house that was built in 1883, and I wanted to find flooring and doors that matched the originals. Community Forklift was my answer. I was able to find both red oak and pine flooring that had been removed from another house. They also have a large selection of doors (interior and exterior), sinks, cabinets, tiles, light fixtures, etc, etc. They also have partial slabs of marble, slate and quartz. Community Forklift has successfully completed Co-op America's screening process for socially and environmentally responsible green businesses?. They are now listed in the National Green Pages directory!

Community Forklift doesn't only deal with vintage items. AND, they are a project of Sustainable Community Initiatives (SCI), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation so you can also donate your surplus goods (and money!) to them and receive a tax deduction for your donation.

Community Forklift offers three types of materials:

Surplus materials are new, sometimes still in the original packaging. Homeowners, contractors, or manufacturers donate them due to changes in project plans, excess materials, ordering mistakes, minor flaws, or discontinued brands.

Salvaged materials have been used, and still have useful life left in them. Most of their salvaged items come from remodeling projects. Many also come from Deconstruction Services, a company that takes buildings apart carefully rather than bulldozing them. Deconstruction is a growing industry that creates jobs and conserves natural resources, and it can cost the same or less than traditional demolition. Their inventory changes every day, but they usually have cabinets, radiators, lumber, trim, flooring, plumbing fixtures, paint, glass, doors, windows, lighting, appliances, HVAC, landscaping materials, and more!

New Green Materials are environmentally friendly items. They also carry Nature Neutral products, including recycled cotton insulation, low VOC and low odor paints and sealants, and sustainably harvested lumber. They contain significantly fewer toxins and cause less pollution, so they better for your health and our world.

While I love Community Forklift, you need to know what you want. They don't have the staff to help you plan your project or even really help you figure out how much of an item you may need. Still, it's a great concept and a business worth supporting in the DC area.

Best to you!
Your recycling pal, Cathy

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