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reuse

Learn how to repair, donate, and shop second-hand household items.

Programs

Through reusing, donating, and repairing your household items, you can save money and reduce the impact of creating new items and making waste. Department of Energy and Environment has launched several programs to achieve Sustainable DC’s goal of facilitating local reuse and recovery of materials to capture their economic and social value. 

Fix-It DC 

A picture containing text, Fix It DC toolsFix-It DC holds community repair events dedicated to changing the “throw-it-away” mentality. Participants bring their broken items to the Fix-It events where community coaches provide guidance in troubleshooting and how to repair each item. 

Fix-It DC regularly holds events at the DC Public Library Fabrication Lab and works with other community organizations to enable them to hold their own events. Learn more at doee.dc.gov/service/fix-it-dc

ReThread DC 

ReThread DCReThread DC, the District of Columbia’s textile reuse and recovery initiative, provides residents and visitors resources for decreasing the impact that their clothing (and other textiles) has on the environment. The Department of Public Work’s 2021 Waste Characterization Study found that clothing textiles make up 6% of residential trash, causing our city to spend an estimated $200,000 a year to dispose of unwanted clothing and other textiles as trash. Furthermore, textile production is a leading contributor to water pollution globally. Help save money and reduce pollution by reducing textile waste. 

Whether hosting clothing swaps and knowledge summits, or sharing resources on how to properly donate, reuse, and recycle clothing, ReThread seeks to create a culture of sustainable use of textiles. Learn more at doee.dc.gov/service/rethread-dc.  

Donation and Reuse Grants 

DOEE makes grants available for donation and reuse projects, through the partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and DOEE’s Small and Accessible Grant Program. Applications for the 2023 Donation and Reuse Award Program are due December 8, 2022. Learn more about the grants at cbtrust.org/grants/district-of-columbia-donation-reuse/

In 2022, eight entities were selected, with awards totaling $64,000. The program funded donation and reuse project, services, outreach, and education. The 2022 Awardees were:

  • A Wider Circle- $8,500 to support the Essential Support Program, which provided donated beds, furniture, and home goods to more than 170 households in the District during the grant period.
  • Common Good City Farm- $10,000 to launch the Preservation Workshops, a series of adult education classes that focused on reducing waste and maximizing dollars through the practice of food preservation and mending.
  • Community Forklift- $10,000 to create the “Monumental Reuse” engagement campaign to highlight the environmental dangers of excess building waste and share ways to reduce and divert these materials from the waste stream.
  • Frontline Gig, Inc- $7,000 to estimate reuse potential in illegal dumping via a park waste characterization.
  • ShopReuse LLC- $9,892 to support an information campaign about second-hand construction material opportunities, including direct engagement with individuals working in construction.
  • The Fresh Food Factory Market- $10,000 to support purchase of reusable bags and a freezer to aid in preservation of food donations.
  • The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command- $2,500 to pilot food rescue from three major food retail locations.
  • Three Part Harmony Farm- $6,731.09 to triple cold storage capacity via solar power and prevent produce spoilage.

Ditch the Disposables Grants 

ReThread DCDitch the Disposables aims to reduce the waste from disposable foodware throughout the District by providing grants to support transitions to reusable foodware at restaurants and other food-serving entities. Funds can be used for projects including establishing dishwashing capacity and implementing the use of reusable foodware and containers. More information is available at doee.dc.gov/disposables.