We provide spaces for the campus community to exchange, donate, and buy reusable goods. Our mission is not only to divert reusable goods from landfill, but to provide an affordable and accessible sustainable resource for students. Our funds go to charity and to maintaining the club.
Our ReUSE Store in MLK is our main resource to divert the waste of clothes, small household items, electronics, and more. We accept donations and one-for-one trades, or you can purchase items in the store for $3 or less! Our store is volunteer run.
Our ReUSE Stations consist of shelving units placed in buildings where campus members donate, Cal Zero Waste and ReUSE restock, and students and staff pick up reusable materials. Items vary from office supplies, books, games, trinkets, one side clean paper, and much more. Volunteers make sure the stations stay stocked and clean.
For those with bigger items, mass amounts of items, or specific needs, please refer to this link in order to find the right resources on campus for your needs.
In addition to creating permanent spaces for free-exchanges and diverting waste, ReUSE hosts events to divert even larger amounts from the landfill and provide even more to the campus community. Events include our beginning of the semester Reader Give Away, sales at our store throughout the year, workshops to teach you how to creatively reuse, and more!
- Free Stuff!
- Saves a lot of money
- Less garbage in landfills
- Fewer resources used for new materials and less emissions produced
- Reduce the demand for unethical labor to make new items
- Prevent reusable materials from being resold at a marked-up value to developing countries
Reusing versus Recycling
These days, everyone seems to know about recycling. Often it is mistakenly seen as the best environmental solution to trash. But recycling is not the only answer to waste, nor is it the best.
The order of waste diversion, or “the waste hierarchy,” starts with reduction, which is to cut off waste at the source by producing less packaging and fewer items. The next step is reuse, which is using items again for their intended purpose. Reuse cuts down on the amount of waste produced and savors the “embodied energy” of a product (the energy that has already been put into producing the item). The lowest on the waste hierarchy is recycling, in which items are broken down to create raw materials again. This puts material back into the production stream, but requires more energy input than reuse.
UC Berkeley ReUSE aims to promote the concept and ethic of reuse and to divert reusable materials from landfills. We collect reusable materials from individuals and departments and redistribute them back to the campus community through our Reader Giveaway, Clothing Sale, ReUSE Stations and Residence Hall Move-out Collection.
ReUSE collects reusable materials from individuals and departments and redistributes them back to the campus community. This service aims to encourage the campus community to reconsider their traditional notions of waste and incorporate reuse into their daily lives.
ReUSE makes donated reusable items available on campus through the ReUSE store in the basement of the MLK Student Union and through the ReUSE Station in Barrows Hall.
All proceeds from the store go to charities and maintenance of the store. Charities are selected by club members at the end of each semester, with a preference towards charities that promote sustainability and related causes.
Reuse saves money and resources on labor, freight, and reprocessing and is thus environmentally preferable to recycling. Since UC Berkeley is seeking to reduce its waste stream into landfills, it must employ the diversion technique of reuse, which has been highly underutilized on this campus in the past.
ReUSE seeks to divert 20-30 tons of material annually, as this amount was identified as reusable in campus waste audits.
ReUSE serves the UC Berkeley campus community including students, staff, and faculty and is a subset of the Campus Recycling and Refuse Services (now Cal Zero Waste).
Original Mission Statement prepared by Rhoda Chang, Howard Chong, Alexis Petru, and Garth Schultz. Updates by Amy Mendelsohn.
ReUSE originally stood for Re–Used Stuff Emporium. The idea for the club came from the student group SOURCE. Members of this group organized material exchanges once or twice a semester by setting up a table on Sproul Plaza, enabling members of the campus community to donate and pick up items.
In 2000, with funding from the university as well as support from the California Integrated Waste Management Board and SOURCE, ReUSE set up a shop for UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty to donate and pick up materials in the MLK garage. This shop operated for eight years as a central location for reusing materials.
In 2007, ReUSE began to expand further into the campus, establishing mini ReUSE stations in campus buildings for more accessible, visible and speedy reuse of items. ReUSE members and volunteers helped restock the stations. The stations were in high-traffic areas where students, staff and faculty could easily take the free items and bring their own reusable materials to donate.
Construction on the new MLK Student Union began in 2013. In the fall of 2015, the new ReUSE Store in the new MLK Student Union that had once been an abstract plan became a reality. And with that reality came even more planning! With the help of SERC sponsorship and Cal Zero Waste, the store officially opened in Spring 2016 and has been serving the campus community ever since.