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Now Hiring! Seeking a Sales Supervisor and a Truck Driver
Congratulations to our Reuse Contest Winners
A closer look at Kate's Folly
Recently Arrived Goodies: Reclaimed Lumber and Pallets of Pavers!
Delightful December Sales

Seasons Greetings, Forklift Fans!

We had a wonderful kick-off to the holiday season - it was great to celebrate Green Friday and Small Business Saturday with you! 

But if you didn't make it to the party, no worries. It's not too late to find great green gifts for the holidays. The collective of artists at Tanglewood Works, as well as the artists in our Mistletoe Market, are offering gifts made from recycled and eco-friendly materials all month long.
Young Forklift Fans made windchimes out of hardware during a recent tour of the warehouse.

And of course, there's a ton of stuff in the warehouse that you can use to make your own creative projects. Keep reading below for inspiration!  

As we wrap up 2014, we are proud to say we've accomplished some wonderful things. 

We've strengthened our community giving programs. As you may know, our Community Building Blocks program distributes free supplies to local nonprofits, and our HELP program provides home essentials like appliances to neighbors in need. Last year we were able to award $22,500 in supplies through these two programs, but in 2014, we more than
doubled that to over $49,000!

We've expanded our educational and outreach programs. For years now, we have provided information about reuse at dozens of community events throughout the year, and hosted seasonal gatherings to introduce Forklift Fans to local tradespeople and useful resources. 

But now we've begun hosting educational field trips for schools and youth groups at our warehouse too! We've also increased educational offerings for adults - we've more than tripled the number of free DIY workshops here at the warehouse. Topics have included everything from old home repair and eco-friendly landscaping to furniture refinishing and creative upcycling.  

 Please consider a financial contribution to support this important work. Our store revenue goes almost entirely into making reuse happen:  renting the warehouse, keeping the lights on, and keeping the donations truck on the road. We're proud to provide better pay and benefits than many national retailers, but everything from insurance to work gloves and computers sure adds up.  

To go beyond our basic warehouse operation, we need a little (or a lot of) help from our friends! Go check your couch cushions and the pockets of your old coat, (maybe your spare offshore account?), then click here to donate.

Remember, we are a nonprofit program, so
your donation is tax-deductible. 

 We are so grateful for your support, and we look forward to a fruitful new year with you!

 for two positions!

Truck Driver (Salvage Superhero!)

Community Forklift is seeking a full-time Truck Driver to work with our growing green business. This person will represent the organization while picking up used and surplus building materials in the DC area. 

Responsibilities include driving our 24-foot box truck with manual transmission, loading donated materials carefully, and providing friendly service to donors. A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is preferred. All applicants must have an excellent driving record, a friendly personality, relevant driving experience and a current Maryland Department of Transportation medical card. If you do not have medical card, you will need a physical before you begin. Prior related driving experience is required!   

Weekend Sales Shift Supervisor (Reuse Rockstar!)

Community Forklift is seeking an outgoing, detail-oriented, mission-driven individual with retail supervisory experience and excellent people skills to work with our growing green business.

The Weekend Shift Supervisor oversees the sales desk and supervises Reuse Associates on weekends (and potentially some weekdays).  The supervisor is responsible for creating a welcoming environment, positively engaging visitors to the warehouse, and providing superior, friendly service to all Forklift Fans. Prior supervisory experience is required - this is not an entry-level position.

To view the complete job postings for these positions, and for information on how to apply, please click here:

2014 Creative Reuse Contest
Every year The Reuse People of America, a reuse center located in California, scours the country to find the best examples of creative and practical reuse. For the third year in a row, Community Forklift has partnered with them to spread the word and collect entries from our region.

Forklift staff then vote on the best entries for each category, and send those winners on to the national level. 

Last year, Community Forklift's first-place winner ended up winning first place in the national contest., and with the quality of entries we've seen this year, we hope to bring home the gold again!
2013 Winners Bea Trickett and Chris Maxwell

We had twenty-one entries, and it was tough to choose from all the amazing projects, but here are the results:

Art & Furniture

1. PORCH COOLER by Mark Wardlaw of BNV Remodeling
Found this sewing table on the side of the road. I purchased the sink from a local repurposing store for $70.00. I added a pull plug to hold water & ice and can drain it into a five-gallon bucket.

2. BBQ & BAR CABINET by Ryan Quinter
We used a lot of material from our local reuse store: cedar shakes, concrete for the counter top, white board for the concrete mold frame, plywood to back the doors & frame, and some 2x4's for the interior frame.  We also used some old blue indigo dye that my wife had laying around to tint the concrete.  The pad the BBQ/Bar is sitting on is used from bricks we found at the same reuse store, the 10'x10' patio was used from repurposed bricks. 

3.  BLUE HEADBOARD by Valerie Winschel
I purchased 3 wood doors of the same style and thickness, ensuring their combined width was appropriate for a queen-sized headboard. I cut the boards down to headboard height, scraped away loose paint, patched any dings and dents with spackle, and sanded away any remaining defects and extra spackle. I then primed the boards, painted them, and bolted them up to my bedroom wall. I used lag bolts anchored into wall studs for the two heavier boards and regular wood screws into the lathe-and-plaster wall for the middle board, which was too narrow to overlap a stud.

Construction & Renovation

1. KATE'S FOLLY  by Kate Barfield
(read more in the article below)

We found several large reclaimed windows and a handful of small mullioned house windows to build our animal-proof greenhouse. I attached two of the largest windows on the top at a 30 angle to make the roof of the greenhouse. The front of the structure used four cottage windows to create doors that open and give ample room to work. I built the bottom frame of the greenhouse using 10" tall 2x10 reclaimed deck boards to allow for a deep soil bed and designed in flip down sections beneath the small front windows to allow even more access. The roof window panels are hinged along the back edge, so they can lift to allow the gardener to stand upright inside the greenhouse.

3. GARDEN PLANTERS by Christopher Samp
In my vision, I wanted my planters to be two feet by four feet, so I looked around in the reclaimed lumber section and was lucky to have found nice wood panels (enough to make three elevated garden planters). The wood panels were easy to assemble and they also looked very nice. In addition, I bought other kinds of wood for legs and for bottom supports while the planters could provide proper drainage. Moreover, I installed orange safety fence for extra strength, and reused old nail and disposed plant containers. I was amazed that I could find everything I needed from one place.

  folly Creative Reuse Contest
Community Forklift First Place Winner, Construction and Renovation:
Kate's Folly
by Kate Barfield, Owner

Beginning in March 2013, a local welder, Miguel, and I built an 11' by 11' garden room from salvage materials bought in Maryland. A friend called it my Folly, because the building had no purpose -- and the name stuck. Neither of us had much building experience, but we received a good deal of advice from friends and relatives (pros) whose insight could be bought with fine wine.

There was no blueprint. We hoped the the design could be guided by whatever salvage materials I managed to locate. We also used simple tools -- all cuts were made with hand-held (battery-powered) drills and saws. A modest plainer tore through reams of battered wood like a champ. The shavings were scooped up for mulch. Welds were made on the spot with a low-slung torch.  

My first, and perhaps most stunning salvaged item(s) I found, were three 8' by 3' redwood windows that now grace the front of the Folly -- with recycled copper gutters below as window boxes. Once installed, these redwood panels vaulted high, so we decided on a saltbox design for the entire structure. Many re-use windows followed, including a handmade oval window I pulled from a stash of oddities, then later, old glass library cabinets from a Baltimore deconstruction -- with matching screens in good working order.

Neighbors, who used to drop by to watch our progress, could now come inside to drink beer and admire. I don't understand, our neighbor's daughter said. What does this place DO? It doesn't do anything, I explained. That's why it's a Folly.

The salvage materials I used to build the Folly can be documented by the people working at my local re-use business, where (not surprisingly) I am known by my first name. One can tell you about my buying the 8-ft redwood windows, vintage pine paneling and flooring, others can speak about the handmade oval window, triangular windows, copper gutters, and many rectangular windows. Yet another can attest to my picking up loads of used brick -- which he sold to me at a good rate by the way. Go ahead, ask them. I can give you their names.

I call my project the House that Generosity built. Here's to the neighbor that let me raid her basement for tools when she was not home (then sometimes had to remind me to return). Cheers to the construction expert that made a special trip to sit on the Folly foundation and explain the finer points of everything -- not to mention all the last-minute calls that followed. And many kind thoughts to a well-known architect who outlined the maze of building requirements and reassurances on approaches taken. 

And finally, here's to Miguel (who has since returned to Bolivia), and his deep nod of approval when I showed up with that handmade lozenge window. He held it up to the light and showed exactly how it could be positioned to capture the curve of a dogwood nearby. His boss, when showed a picture of the Folly, shook his head and refused to believe he built it. But we did build it, all of us.

My Folly is now a happy home for my neighbors, friends, cats and me. The place that has no purpose is very practical indeed. It is my refuge.

We've just received a donation of salvaged pine boards from Details, a fantastic deconstruction company.  It is modern dimensional lumber, so it's very inexpensive (2'x8's for 40 cents/foot, and 2'x10's for 45 cents/foot), but it's been reclaimed so it has some great character! 


We have received 9 pallets of stone, great for walls or stone fences.  They are priced from $75 to $125 per pallet.  They'll go quickly, so come in soon if you're interested! 
December Sales
50% off 
Interior Doors
with Orange Tags 
including panel doors, bi-fold doors 
& more!

Sale does not include exterior doors,

doors in frames, oversize doors, doors priced over $100, doors with blue tags, select specialty items, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged price tags

50% off Windows, Sashes, & Blinds
with Orange Tags


Sale does not include select specialty items, windows with blue tags, shutters or other types of window treatments, stained or wavy glass, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged price tags.



Furniture sale
Take 50% off
furniture with orange tags
and 30% off vintage furniture with blue tags
Sale does not include select specialty items, built-in shelving or cabinetry, home decor, items from our consignment
partners, or items with missing or damaged price tags.  

Lighting Sale! 

Lighting sale!  Take 50% off light 

fixtures, lamps, shades, & bulbs with orange tags and 30% off lights with blue tags.

Sale does not include select specialty items, other light parts or electrical supplies, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged price tags 

See you at the warehouse soon!   

Your friends at the Forklift