In 2013 through August, IRN provided more than five million pounds of surplus furniture and equipment to charities in the United State and overseas.  Although we’ve cleared five million pounds before, this is by far the earliest in the year that we’ve reached this milestone in the dozen years that IRN has managed the Surplus Program.  Through August we packed more than 72,000 items into 382 tractor trailers, which were provided to fourteen different charities in thirteen countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and eight U.S. states.

Our projects in 2013 have been spread among 22 states from coast to coast, including CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, HI, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TX, UT, VA, and West Virginia.  Some projects were as small as a half dozen pieces delivered to IRN’s warehouse.  Others were as large as 41 trailers filled at the University of Massachusetts, 20 from Georgetown University, 17 from Wayne State University and the University of Illinois, and 16 from American University and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  We would like to acknowledge the 88 different organizations that took advantage of the Surplus Program through September, who recognize that reuse is financially, socially, and environmentally the best way to manage their surplus.

Several program users reached their own milestones in 2013.  One was Skidmore College.  In just two years Skidmore has managed more than a quarter million pounds of surplus through IRN.  Another was the University of Central Missouri.  UCM has been working with IRN since 2010, and in May they went past one million pounds kept out of the landfill and provided to charity.

This is what Brenda Moeder, Director of Housing Facilities and Operations at Central Missouri, has to say about managing UCM’s surplus for reuse: “It’s a program with nothing but winners.  The University saves money, diverting material from landfill is a benefit to the environment, and most important, our furniture is provided where it will be needed, used and appreciated for years to come.”

Reuse isn’t just a feel-good thing.  Every organization has surplus that needs to disappear.  Reuse turns surplus from a liability into a social and environmental asset, and costs less than throwing it away.  When that realization clicks, we get the call.

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