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Wednesday, Oct. 4
The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

IU Surplus Stores recycles electronics, saves money, environment

One IU organization is saving the environment, one outdated computer at a time.

IU Surplus collects piles of unwanted electronic parts, cartridges, computers and cables from IU departments.

Instead of throwing them away, IU Surplus either resells or recycles these items. By recycling the parts, IU departments can fix their electronic problems without further harming the environment in the making of new parts or the buying of completely new products.

“The production of each computer and monitor can require up to 530 pounds of oil, 48 pounds of chemicals and one and a half tons of water,” Noma Maier, UITS Sustainable IU Services project manager, said in a press release. “Each used computer sold or recycled means those resources do not have to be newly refined, mined or created. When you think of the number of computers that we’re repurposing, it’s a huge cumulative effect.”

Last year alone, IU Surplus resold 9,000 computers, generating $194,000 for the University in the process. In addition to those computers that were sold, countless other computers were recycled, marketing manager for IU Surplus Stores and IU Warehouse Todd Reid said in a press release.

IU Surplus encourages University IT professionals to get their hands on the Surplus Stores’ recycled parts rather than buying completely new products.

“We have an entire area where computers we can’t refurbish are being torn apart screw by screw for recycling, so anything they need is probably here,” Reid said. “We have cables, wiring, all sorts of things.”

IU Surplus doesn’t only serve IU faculty, but also caters to students and the general Bloomington public. Their inventory is ever-changing, but not limited to electronics.
Industrial equipment and apartment furniture are among some of the items available, according to the organization’s website.

In addition to their website, IU Surplus has a Facebook page where they keep updated
information on odds and ends for sale. Information on the page sums up their mission as a company.

“Surplus Stores plays an important part in the sustainability efforts of Indiana University,” it reads. “Through sales and recycling programs, Surplus Stores is committed to limiting the University’s environmental foot print, which is beneficial to not only the campus, but the community as a whole.”

— Anicka Slachta

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