In the fourteen years that we’ve been handling surplus, 2015 was IRN’s busiest. We filled just about 600 tractor trailers with more than 122,000 pieces destined for reuse, and we recycled another 900,000 pounds of assets that were unsuitable for reuse.
IRN recovered usable furnishings from 211 projects in 29 states, from Maine to California and Florida to Washington. Our smallest projects captured just a few dozen pieces. Our largest filled dozens of tractor trailers. Our busiest regions were the Northeast and the West Coast, where population is concentrated and landfill tipping fees provide an additional incentive to think reuse. The majority of organizations we work with are colleges and K-12 schools. We also work with companies ranging from the Fortune 50 to local accountants and law firms, and with large and small healthcare organizations.
More than 6,000 beds and mattresses; 4,400 dressers and wardrobes; 5,800 bookcases; 5,200 storage cabinets and 4,400 filing cabinets; more than 5,600 student chairs; 5,000 dining and dormitory chairs; 2,100 sofas and lounge chairs; 15,000 stacking chairs; 8,000 student desks; 2,100 tablet-arm desks also for students; 3,000 dormitory or bedroom desks; 12,000 tables; 1,900 bulletin boards, blackboards, and white-boards. Plus appliances; office and school supplies; kitchen equipment; library furnishings; 1,000 stools; 100 sinks. In total, more than 122,000 items, all suitable for reuse, all now being reused.
In 2015 IRN more than doubled the number of nonprofits we worked with compared to any previous year. Shipping overseas, IRN surplus moved through 14 different organizations providing relief and development assistance in 29 countries, including our first-ever shipments to the Pacific island nation of Micronesia.
Our proudest accomplishment, however, was expanding our network of recipients right here in the United States. Excluding what we recycled for commodity value, in 2014 about 1.5 million pounds of IRN surplus went to U.S. nonprofits, while 4.4 million pounds went overseas. In 2015 we shipped 4.1 million pounds overseas, while 2.4 million pounds went to U.S. nonprofits. These included dozens of charter schools and other public schools, tribal schools, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, local furniture banks and thrift shops, and larger regional organizations. In total, we provided furnishings to 98 different U.S. nonprofit organizations in the U.S. in 2015.
In our world, one person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure. Our job is to make that match, and we love what we do.
If you’re part of an organization with surplus furnishings that need to go away, or if you know of an organization with surplus that needs to go away, please put us in touch. Without that trash, we can’t make treasure.
And if you’re part of or know of an organization that needs solid, usable furnishings for a residential, school, professional, healthcare, or any other setting, or that provides furnishings to the community as a nonprofit mission, we want to hear from you, too. You tell us what counts as treasure for you, and we’ll go find it.
Looking back and ahead, we’d like to thank all of the organizations who make our work possible. We look forward to many more years enjoying those relationships, and to all the new relationships to come.