Key Questions about Recipient Services

Who pays?

The generator, that is, the organization with the furniture, pays to have it removed from their buildings, then have it loaded and packed into trucks or trailers. They also pay all costs for project planning and onsite management.

Our charitable partners pay for transportation from the site where furniture is loaded to the destination(s) they specify, and for unloading and distributing furniture to ultimate recipients. Nothing more.

What kinds of furniture are you offering?

IRN got its start as a recycling coop for colleges, K-12 schools, and hospitals, and that shows in the furniture we make available. In 2015 residential furniture comprised about a third of our total, including beds and mattresses, dressers and wardrobes, living and dining furnishings, bookshelves, etc. About 25% was school furniture, including desk-chair combo and stand-alone student desks, seating, libraries, science labs, etc. Another 25% came from corporate sources, encompassing administrative/office furnishings, stacking, folding and task chairs, reception/lounge furniture, storage and filing cabinets, shelving, etc. The balance was medical (beds, mattresses, exam rooms, doctors’ offices, etc.), kitchen and cafeteria (including entire commercial kitchens), athletic, and a wide array of other items.

How much furniture are we talking about?

The standard donation is the commitment to one or more 53’ tractor trailers (or overseas containers) of furniture. The piece count ranges from 100 to 300+ items, depending on item sizes and product mix. Some projects run as high as 20 or more containers, you are welcome to one or more. Unfortunately, we cannot break up the inventory into smaller components. We have to keep this process as simple for the donor as if they had made the archaic choice of sending it to landfill. As we, At The ReUse Network, strive to make Re-Use the new gold standard, we have to show the donor it is not only it is a more responsible method but that it is as easy as putting it in landfill.

How long do we have to decide if we want a project?

On some projects, we’ll know the schedule and inventory weeks in advance. And some of our charitable partners need those weeks to confirm a match against their own requirements. Other times, we’ll hear about the project on Tuesday, and will be loading trailers by Friday. And some of our charitable partners have the flexibility to accept those projects.

In other words, this is part of our getting to know you. You tell us how much time you need. We’ll try to give you as much lead time as possible, and will offer you only those projects that meet your scheduling requirements.

What if we don’t know how to set up trucking?

We’ll set up transportation if you can’t. IRN knows just about all of the major regional and national trucking firms, including firms handling overseas freight. We know how to negotiate the best possible rates, and we have the volume to do so.

We won’t charge you for this service. Once we set up the trucking, we’ll put you directly in touch with the carrier, and you pay them directly, with no markup to IRN.

Transportation costs a lot. We need to get as much furniture as possible, at the least cost.

IRN loads trucks and trailers to a mantra: high and tight, high and tight, high and tight. Our goal is to get so much onto every truck that nothing has any room to move – that’s also how we prevent damage in transit. When you receive a truckload of furnishings from IRN, you will receive as much as that truck can possibly hold.

How do we know what’s on the truck?

In terms of what to expect, if an inventory is split amongst different non-profit groups we do our best to give everyone a an even mix of what we have offered. Generally, it’s not possible to select certain items. However, if there is an entire category of an item from an inventory you are interested in, caster chairs for example, let us know and we will see what we can do.

On loading days, IRN stations a person at the back of every truck. Part of his/her job is to record an accurate item-by-item inventory of every item on every truck or trailer we load. The inventory is available to you typically the day after the truck is loaded – sooner if you need it sooner. We know this is especially important for shipments going overseas, where customs frequently checks paper inventories against actual contents.

We don’t want any damaged furnishings. How do you prevent that?

That person at the back of the truck or trailer, that’s the other part of their job: to check every item that goes onto the truck, and set aside any items that are damaged or otherwise unfit for reuse.

We have specific paperwork that needs to accompany each shipment. Who handles that?

We do. IRN completes load manifests, Bills of Lading, shipping and customs forms. We attach locks or customs seals and take as-loaded photos if you need them. Whatever you require to move trucks or trailers from our project location to your final destination.