Institutional Recycling Network (IRN)

For the past decade Boston University has made notable efforts to reuse University furnishings. When properties are renovated and furniture is upgraded, the items are donated to local and overseas organizations in need through a partnership with the Institutional Recycling Network (IRN).

The IRN networks with dozens of charitable and relief organizations that use millions of pounds of surplus every year. They arrange reuse of nearly 100% of the surplus that they handle and what they can’t reuse, they recycle–at a cost that’s typically much less than disposal. Since 2002, BU and IRN have facilitated the reuse of nearly 1,500 tons of furniture, equipment, and supplies for relief and development in the U.S. and overseas. School and classrooms supplies are the most desperately needed for global relief.

The BU commitment also extends to offsite BU projects as well.  In 2009, the residential properties affiliated with the Tanglewood program were upgraded, and the replaced items were shipped to Honduras.  Most frequently goods are shipped to Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

IRN has also supported the BU community with additional services which include metal, electronics, appliances, wood, Universal Waste (light bulbs/ hazardous materials/ lamps), pallets, and other surplus projects such as old gymnasium floors.

Surplus Furniture