ROSE Program, ReUSE Store Offer Secondhand Office Supplies for Back-to-Schoolers

Various pens, markers, and pencils in organizers with other office supplies

Back to school season usually means buying school supplies. The University of Virginia’s ROSE program offers a cost-free alternative to anyone in the community.

The Reusable Office Supply Exchange program is designed to provide new and used office supplies to students, staff, faculty and community members. It offers a supply of pen, pencils, desk organizers, frames, calculators, sleeve protectors, mugs and cups, binders, folders, toner and ink cartridges, paper organizers and other office and school supplies. And everything is free.

“I call it ‘little Big Lots,’ because you never know what is going to be in our aisles,” Bruce “Sonny” Beale, superintendent of recycling at UVA, said.

The ROSE program, housed at the recycling office in the University’s No. 6 warehouse, across the street from 1490 Leake Drive, is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Beale asks potential customers to call ahead, at 434-982-5050, to make sure someone is available in the recycling office.

“We ask people when they come here to do three things – check in with us, sanitize their hands, and when they select the materials they need, let us weigh it so we can show the diversion rate from the landfill,” he said.

That, he said, is one of the primary purposes of the ROSE program: keeping material out of the landfill.

“It fits in with the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle,” Beale said. “If we can reuse something, then that cuts down on the new materials that need to be purchased and it reduces the amounts that go into the landfill.”

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He said the materials the ROSE Program receives come from University departments and students, as well as from some individuals.

The University’s ReUSE Store is also a source for returning students as well as for community members, offering used furniture such as chairs, desks, file cabinets, bookcases, tables, lamps and other items for a very low cost. The store, located at 580 McCormick Rd., is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., by appointment only; email to request a date and 30-minute time slot for shopping.

“ROSE is free; ReUSE is a low-cost program. Both are open to UVA and the broader community,” said Cathryn McCue, a communications generalist at UVA’s Office for Sustainability.

The UVA ReUSE Store supports the collection, sale and reuse of surplus property, which includes unneeded University-owned property declared surplus, as well as unclaimed, lost or abandoned property, regardless of age and condition. The ReUSE Store also supports the University’s sustainability efforts by extending the life cycle of items that may have otherwise been directed to a landfill.

Most of the material in the ROSE program is office supplies, with an occasional electronic calculator, but Beale said most electronics are handled through an e-waste protocol where the data is erased.

The University has maintained the ROSE program for 22 years, modeling it on a concept from the University of Oregon.

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications