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NDSurplus recycles used office supplies

Emma Driscoll | Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Rather than throwing away desks that are in good condition or keeping extra filing cabinets that will never be used, University Procurement Services – through its three-year old NDSurplus program – gathers superfluous equipment and supplies throughout the campus and makes them easily available to other departments, students, faculty and the public.

“We have computers, desks, chairs, wardrobes – anything you can think of that is out on campus is there,” said Tim Gibney, vice president of business operations. “We have everything from coffee makers to computer peripherals.”

Gibney described NDSurplus as a program that “take[s] Notre Dame product[s] that [have] been used by someone and – rather than going and being thrown in the dump – having it go for a good purpose.”

Gathered products are offered to departments of the University on a weekly basis at no charge, which saves the departments money, Gibney said.

Faculty, staff and students can go to 925 North Eddy Street Thursdays, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. to purchase reused products that departments do not want. Quarterly Saturday sales are open to the public, students, faculty and staff, Gibney said.

The next Saturday sale will be this weekend from 8:00 a.m. – noon, according to the NDSurplus Web site. The Web site also includes a real-time list of surplus inventory to help people find what they need.

Gibney said NDSurplus also promotes and offers surplus properties to non-profits, including churches and schools.

As a “not for profit exercise,” Gibney said the program is “really to get [surplus] out for additional use or to recycle.” Proceeds from the sales go toward paying the recycler to recycle the product.

“We’re not putting into the waste stream as far as dumping [product] – we’re paying for a recycler to basically recycle it,” said Gibney.

Gibney said the program, designed to save money rather than make money, created a savings “in [the] $300,000 range” in the past year.

“When students see things being replaced, you can bet that the old product is going down to NDSurplus,” he said.