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July-August 2006

Less load for the landfill:
FREEcycle stores; ACD's "green" move

Arlene Laing (MMM) browses recycled office supplies at FREEcycle's Foothills location.

When Nancy Collins (IMAGe) needed a whiteboard for her Mesa Lab office, she was about to ask her division to order her one. First, however, she dropped by FREEcycle, the new office supply "store" that specializes in pre-owned items that are conveniently free of charge. In doing so, she saved her division some money.

"There was a whiteboard right there," Nancy says. "It worked out great, and later I went back for bookends and pushpins."

Once unique to Foothills Lab, FREEcycle now has branches at ML and Center Green. Staffers looking to outfit their offices can drop by to browse for used but functional supplies: three-ring binders, hanging file folders, dividers, sheet protectors, CD cases, storage containers, computer accessories, furniture, and a collection of ergonomic items that includes wrist and foot rests, monitor risers, and glare screens.
The stores also offer an array of unusual odds and ends that inexplicably find their way into offices and recycling bins. These have included a tent, stuffed cat, water gun shaped as an ice cream cone, and other items of dubious origin.

The concept for the program began with Jean Hancock in Transportation Services, who envisioned setting aside space for recycling office supplies. Shuttle driver Carri Kawahara helped set up the first store, located at FL. "During all the office moves, things were turning up that were in good condition and could be used in-house," Carri explains.

After an influx of new stock arrived following ACD's move from ML to FL0 in March, Jaime Shuey (Transportation Services) opened stores at ML and CG.

“We did amazing things to save the organization money.”

—Jaime Shuey

The ACD move was NCAR's largest "green" move on record. Jaime placed special bins in the ML hallways for staffers to donate office supplies, electronics, CDs, books, binders, and more, and she also arranged for extra bins for routine paper recycling. One staffer who had inhabited the same office for nearly
30 years filled 11 large paper bins all by himself.

"I was overwhelmed and staying late every day to sort, but it was a really good experience and it was incredible how much cooperation I got," Jaime says. "We did amazing things to save the organization money.

"And this is just the beginning," she adds, "since there are always people here moving around."

The organization's top managers applaud the FREEcycle stores. "We're very impressed by this initiative. It's great when staff conceive and execute an idea that not only saves money, but actually helps the environment," says Katy Schmoll, UCAR vice president for finance and administration.

The ML store is located in the building's second basement in 019A. The CG store is in CG2 3134. Both are open every day. The Foothills location, located in FL1, is open at select times only; contact Carri (ext. 8532) for more information. Donations are accepted at all locations.

by Nicole Gordon

In this issue...

A new eye on storm formation

NCAR names five new senior scientists

New Delphi coordinator takes over

SOARS and RESESS protégés busy with research

Less load for the landfill: FREEcycle stores; ACD's "green" move

Short Takes

Delphi Question: Public events in the FL0 courtyard

Just One Look


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