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Innovation & Job News

Lend A Box keeps cardboard out of your move and out of the landfill

Cardboard moving boxes may soon be headed the way of the 8-track and the CRT TV. Lend A Box, out of Fairfax, Va., offers an environmentally friendly and convenient alternative to traditional moving boxes. The company, founded by sisters Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmermann, is looking to expand into Arlington and anticipates hiring sales team members and drivers over the summer.
"Eighty percent of our business is in Arlington and Alexandria," Zimmermann explains. "Our green message has really resonated, and inside the Beltway, people are willing to pay for convenience."
Lend A Box rents reusable plastic boxes with flip-top lids in two sizes for the duration of a local residential or commercial move. Zimmermann and Gambaccini deliver and pick up the boxes at the beginning and end of the move, eliminating the need for customers to procure cardboard boxes themselves and then get rid of them when they've unpacked. The boxes are rented on a weekly, per-box basis.
"It's hard to get rid of cardboard boxes after moving," says Gambaccini, "especially if you're in an apartment complex."
Both say that movers like their reusable totes for their stackability, their structural integrity and their integrated handles. "And you don't have to play 'cube tetris' [in the moving van]," says Zimmermann. She also says that cardboard boxes tend to lose their shape after four or five moves, but Lend A Box's totes have a life of 400 to 500 uses. "After that, we send them back to the manufacturer, and they regrind them into new totes."
The reusable totes are a good fit for environmentally conscious customers. "10 four-bedroom [moving] packages equals roughly 700 boxes," Zimmermann says. "That's about one ton of cardboard saved out of the landfill."
Lend A Box is currently based in Fairfax, Va. The company is working with Arlington Economic Development (AED) to establish a presence in Arlington to better serve its customer base. Gambaccini and Zimmermann are also exploring a regional expansion along the I-95 corridor, to cover moves between D.C. and points as far north as Boston.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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