Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

PARTNER PORTRAITS: Community Forklift

Community Forklift is a reuse center for modern and vintage home improvement supplies.

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The nonprofit program picks up donations of building materials throughout the DC area, including renovation leftovers, architectural salvage, lighting, plumbing, kitchen cabinets, appliances, lumber, tools, and hardware. Community Forklift then offers these items to the public at very low cost in their huge warehouse thrift store, and distributes free materials to civic groups and families in need.

The name Community Forklift refers to the organization’s mission:  to “lift up communities” in the Washington, DC region by:

  • reducing construction waste and demand for natural resources,
  • creating local green jobs,
  • and making home improvement and repairs more affordable for everyone. 

The re-use of building materials is a winning situation for everyone involved. Some of Community Forklift’s materials come from deconstruction, in which a building is taken apart by hand instead of demolished. This creates jobs, and can cost less than hiring a bulldozer.  Instead of paying dumping fees, property owners earn tax deductions. The unemployed find careers through job training in deconstruction. The materials can be sold cheaply, so homeowners and small businesses can afford repairs – making neighborhoods cleaner and safer. Community Forklift is also a resource for nonprofits, temples, and churches that fix up homes for the elderly or disadvantaged.  Schools, artists, and theater groups can buy low-cost art materials or props.  Renovators can find antique trim to preserve historic buildings. And everyone benefits because less virgin material is harvested or mined, and fewer items are thrown away – reducing climate-changing emissions from landfills and incinerators. – easier on your wallet and the world!

LOCATION: The 40,000 square-foot thrift store is inside the Beltway in the Port Towns area of Prince George’s County.  It is less than a mile from NE DC and easily accessible from Route 1, Kenilworth Ave, Rhode Island Ave, and I-295.  The address is 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, Maryland 20781.   Visit for directions by bus, bike, or car (if you purchase a large item, the store offers one week of free storage, to give you time to borrow or rent a truck).


Tues (12pm – 6pm),

Wed, Thurs & Fri (10am – 6pm) and

Sat & Sun (9am – 6 pm).

Donations must be dropped off before 5:30pm.

TO DONATE:  Visit for details. For large donations, they offer free pickups at your home or jobsite, and the fastest way to schedule a pickup is to fill out the form on the website.



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Follow @CommForklift on Twitter


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

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