There is a great opportunity for the reuse of personal and departmental owned furniture and other items at the University of Rochester. A few different departments have been working to make such exchanges both more convenient and sustainable.
The Currents Classifieds webpage, which is self-described as “free classified ads for University of Rochester faculty, staff, and students,” is live and available for browsing, buying, and posting. Similar to Craigslist, the page allows members of the University of Rochester to upload pictures and sell personal items that they no longer use directly to others within the University. Michael Osadciw, Graphic Designer of University Communications, has been helping to improve Currents Classifieds this summer. Osadciw remarks that the updated Classifieds will be a tool for “community building” and hopes that it will provide a way for members of the University to “feel together in a place.”
One of the modifications made to accomplish this goal was opening the site to undergraduate students for the first time. Another development was adding the option for departments to donate surplus items to other departments. This reduces waste throughout the University community and allows a unique way for departments to get rid of items that they don’t need so that they can still be used. Osadciw is hopeful that this will save the University some resources and simultaneously reduce clutter in departments that don’t have space for extra materials.
Another program that exists is the Medical Center Facilities Surplus Property Program, which allows all departments of the University of Rochester to donate furniture and other surplus property to be resold instead of thrown away. All property is available for purchase by anyone during specified hours. Currently, the program is looking to open their database to members of the University comparable to the Currents Classifieds webpage with pictures of items for sale. The program manager is hopeful that this online system will be available for use within the next few months. Contact Les Pfluke with any questions about this program including the location and hours of operation.
Another feat is that a considerable amount of furniture was spared from being wasted this summer. Randy Poole and the University Facilities and Services Residential Life team recycled 400 mattresses and donated an additional 50 mattresses to local charities. Over 300 furniture sets from Southside Living Area were also donated. By recycling and donating used furniture, Residential Life was able to divert 37.8 tons of material from going into the landfill. Additionally, 4 pallets of electronics totaling 1,858 pounds was recycled thanks to end of year collections.
The University has developed these programs that can benefit re-sellers and re-users alike. All of these efforts reduce the amount of furniture and other items that will be wasted and offer ways to circulate used items throughout the University and even back into the Rochester community.
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018