By JOSH BAKER
As we head into April with Earth Day reminding us to be environmentally conscious, spring is also a popular time for remodeling projects. Remodeling often affords the opportunity to be environmentally friendly by repurposing, recycling and donating materials while also benefitting those less fortunate. Before throwing materials from your remodel away, consider how and where you can donate or re-use those materials and supplies.
Ask your remodeler if there is a plan or policy for saving materials for re-use or for donation rather than sending them to a landfill. While every project is different, some materials are more easily removed and saved than others, and some materials are easily recycled. Here is some more information from several local Washington, D.C.-area organizations that accept used materials for donation and re-use to benefit others and the environment.
A Wider Circle
A Wider Circle provides basic-need items to families transitioning out of shelters and those living without life’s necessities. This organization furnishes the homes of more than 1,000 children and adults each month. If you wish to donate furniture and other home essentials that are in good condition (no rips or stains), you can drop off items at their Center for Community Service in Silver Spring, Md. You can also schedule a pickup in most areas throughout greater Washington, D.C. Refer to their website for a full list of accepted items and their “wish list” of the most needed items at www.awidercircle.org.
Habitat for Humanity – ReStore
Habitat for Humanity is an organization that provides safe and affordable housing to low-income families. ReStore is a resale business that sells new and used building materials and home items to the general public. All donations are tax deductible and donated by individuals, local retailers, building contractors and suppliers. Donated items are then sold at 50-90 percent off the retail price, with all proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. ReStore accepts appliances, furniture, cabinets, roofing and flooring materials, exercise equipment, countertops, electronics, and lighting and plumbing fixtures, among many others. All materials and items must be in good and working condition. Items may be dropped off at ReStore locations during their business hours or for larger donations, you may schedule a pickup. For store hours and locations and for the complete list of acceptable items you can visit www.habitat.org/restores, or check out these nearby Washington, D.C. stores’ websites:
Montgomery County, Gaithersburg www.habitat-mc.org
Northern Virginia, stores in Alexandria and Chantilly www.restorenova.org
Founded in 1902, Goodwill accepts gently used clothing, furniture, housewares, working electronics and other household items. These items are then sold at their retail locations, with the proceeds used to fund employment, job training and placement services for the disadvantaged and those with disabilities. You may schedule a pick up online for larger items or multiple items you don’t have the resources to transport. To view their full list of goods accepted, and for the list of donation centers and stores, visit www.dcgoodwill.org.
Although the Salvation Army is involved in many community programs, proceeds from items donated to their stores will benefit their Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which help those who experience difficulties coping with their problems and are unable to provide for themselves. For more information on their donation program, please visit satruck.org.
Josh Baker is the founder and co-chair of BOWA, an award-winning design and construction company specializing in luxury renovations, remodels and additions in the greater Washington, D.C. area. BOWA has more than 25 years of experience and has been honored with 110 local and national awards. For more information, visit bowa.com or call 703-734-9050.