Throughout the summer of 2013, Office of Sustainability staff member John Ullman worked diligently with Design & Construction and Real Estate staff, to develop a new waste reduction program for the university.

The problem: an excess of usable office furniture. The solution: consolidate storage, develop a mechanism for tracking pieces and inventory stock, and engage staff and faculty on their role in the process.

Oftentimes, when offices, classrooms, or other spaces on campus are cleared out, functional furniture found its way to the garbage, which isn't sustainable from a waste or budget perspective. Items that were stored were often done so under unfavorable conditions (unconditioned spaces that ruined the items), or were simply not tracked for inventory and redistribution purposes.  The new furniture reuse program, operated out of the Homewood Recycling Office, allows those on the Homewood Campus a viable option for getting rid of unneeded furniture and/or to have access to acquiring a large variety of pieces. From desks and chairs, to filing cabinets, large tables and bookcases, the options some days seem endless. Members of other JHU campuses can request furniture to avoid new purchases.

The program also works to place items not used at JHU with local charities that can use them. To date, 400 items have been collected and 250 have reused within the JHU community through just initial research and piloting of some program components, and thus tons of material has been diverted from landfills or incineration in the process.

Want to know more? The Office of Sustainability’s very own Kendall Klosky will be taking the role of program coordinator in mid-November. We caught up with her to learn more about the program and her future:

OoS: Share what you’re excited about in taking on this role and program.
KK: Excited to have my own program and build its success. I look forward to developing an effective marketing campaign, and being able to witness the change and progress over time.

OoS:  What do you hope to bring to the program?
KK: The ability for the university to see a different spin on sustainability, as well as a want and desire to reuse things to their fullest potential.

OoS: How does this big step connect to your general career & personal goals?
KK: This program allows me to explore and utilize more skills related to marketing, as well as program management experience.

OoS: Any other tidbits you think would help personalize this story?
KK: I have an obsession with HGTV and a secret love of interior design and crafting. Perhaps all those hours spent on Pinterest may finally pay off!