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Recycle, Reuse, Remodel

Remodeling often affords an opportunity to re-purpose existing materials by donating to those less fortunate. Ask your remodeler if there is a plan or policy for saving materials for re-use rather than sending it to a land fill. Every project is different. And some materials are more easily removed and saved than others. Here are a couple of organizations that accepted used materials.

A Wider Circle

This organization provides basic-need items to families transitioning out of shelters and those living without life’s necessities. A Wider Circle 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. Some impressive 2011 stats:

13,000: Number of homes furnished

1,500,000: Pounds of furniture and home goods recycled

10,000: Number of volunteers who assisted

Habitat for Humanity – ReStore

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, an organization that provides safe and affordable housing to low-income families. ReStore accepts appliances, furniture, cabinets, roofing and flooring materials, exercise equipment, countertops, electronics, 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 check out the following websites:

Northern Virginia, stores in Alexandria and Chantilly www.restorenova.org

Montgomery County, Gaithersburg

www.habitat-mc.org

Loudoun County, Purcellville

www.loudounhabitat.org/restore

Fauquier County, Warrenton www.fauquierhabitat.org

Goodwill

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. To view their full list of goods accepted, and for the list of donation centers and stores, visit www.dcgoodwill.org. You may also schedule a pick up online for larger items or multiple items you don’t have the resources to transport.

Salvation Army

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 have lost the ability to cope with their problems and are unable to provide for themselves. Each rehabilitation center offers residential housing and work, along with individual and group therapy. This enables many to be reunited with their families and resume a normal life. Items commonly donated include appliances, clothing, furniture, and household goods. For more information on their donation program, please visit www.satruck.org.

BOWA Home Cleanup Days

As a thank you to the neighbors in the communities in which we work, from time to time BOWA hosts Home Cleanup Days. Home Cleanup Day is a great opportunity to donate and recycle gently used household items, toys and clothing, and dispose of any debris or other unwanted clutter. A BOWA employee will help folks unload their items and a Goodwill representative will be on hand to accept donations and provide receipts.

To find a BOWA Home Cleanup Day in your area, please visit our community blog at http://info.bowa.com/communityblog/.

Josh Baker is founder of BOWA, learn more at www.bowa.com.