Office of the Registrar’s Latest Green Project

The Green Teams Program is designed to assist  faculty, staff, and students at IU in developing and maintaining sustainable practices within their offices and buildings.  The Registrar’s Office is one example of a Green Team which has sought innovative and creative ways to “green” their workplace. Earlier this summer, the Registrar’s Office Green Team was faced with the dilemma of how to dispose of their old office supplies. Instead of sending perfectly good materials to the landfill, they decided to gather the supplies and redistribute them. Below is their story, written by Donna Goddard – one of the Registrar’s Office Green Team members.

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR

RECYCLING OFFICE SUPPLIES

JULY 2011

By Donna Goddard

While swimming through the old office supplies in our storage room one afternoon, I thought, “Why not give these products away to the folks in our building?”   That began our latest green project, which we called the Franklin Hall Giveaway.  Simple, right?  Well, mostly.

Here are the basic steps of what we went through to put this idea into practice. 

We started with identifying what we had too many of.  Then came the small hurdles. 

I got permission from the registrar to proceed.

I emailed the folks at Purchasing to see if I could do this.

I emailed Facilities to get permission to use our old registration center for display.  For any giveaway, you must have some space you can use.

Everyone said okay.  Purchasing had a few caveats, which I’ll address later.

We hauled everything to Franklin Hall 101G and arranged them.  Found some boxes people could use to haul away stuff.   (And reused some plastic bags)

Since the registrar’s office is the Franklin Hall building manager, we had an email list of folks who were sent a list of the items available for free and setting a date and time for the giveaway.  We set only one day and four hours for the giveaway.  

On the day of the giveaway, we opened the doors and people from the Franklin Hall offices came in, and looked over what we had.  At the end of the day, we were happy to see that they’d taken 50% of the items we had in the room. 

The next step was using the purchasing listserv.  I included a list of the remaining items, location, contact person, etc.  I got phone calls and emails immediately.  The unexpected part of this was that people asked me to save things for them; so I did.  I started removing requested items and tagging them.  They made arrangements to pick things up at the Franklin Hall dock or just came up to my workstation.  It took about a week for everyone to get their items picked up.  In the meantime, I’m still receiving requests from others, so I sent all of them the greatly reduced supply list, and some of them picked up items from it.  A couple of very small items I sent via campus mail. 

I’m left with about 1/10th of the items we started with; a couple of these went to Surplus Stores, the remainder were boxed up. 

Back to Purchasing. before the project began, I had asked my contact at purchasing what we could do with any leftover items.  Office personnel and I had discussed giving the leftovers to a local charity.  Unfortunately, my contact said that we were not allowed to do this.  Something about IU policies, public monies, charitable favoritism, etc.  Neither could we give anything to our staff – a definite no-no.  So I let that drop thinking that I’d contact him later to discuss again. This I have not done since I am retiring very soon and lack time.  I will leave the items in boxes and let my replacement(s) decide what to do with them.

The whole experience was interesting and enjoyable.  I gained knowledge, shelf and cabinet space, met people in Franklin Hall and the rest of the campus, and helped them out along the way.  I highly recommend trying this if you have too many good, but old, items which need a new home.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: