Case Study: School Furniture Aids Refugees in Jordan

How One School Helped Another

Overview

A middle school in the Pacific Northwest was upgrading its furnishings. This project resulted in more than a thousand decommissioned furniture items with no future use in the school district. The district wanted an alternative to recycling and disposal. Furniture Reuse Solutions (FRS) and their mover partner, offered a sustainable solution.

furniture loaded in container

Opportunity/Challenges

Asset disposition decisions can be frustrating endeavors. This surplus had no value in the resale market, but was still in usable condition. The district wanted an environmentally friendly answer that also cost less than disposal or recycling. The best way to uphold the district’s sustainability goals was to donate the furniture to charity.

The project had a tight timeframe – one day to load all of the school’s surplus. The project occurred amid the COVID pandemic and all of its inherent labor and logistics uncertainties.

Solution

FRS offered an alternative to recycling/disposal – reuse through charitable donation. FRS matched the inventory with an international charity who provides disaster relief to international communities.

Two 40’ ocean containers were brought to the school site. Each container was loaded high and tight with more than 500 items in approximately two hours. Both shipments went to Amman, Jordan, where the furniture will be used in refugee schools.

Results

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1,161 Furniture Items Repurposed

One middle school generated 1,160 surplus items, which filled two ocean containers destined for Jordan.

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7 Tons Diverted from the Landfill

Each ton of surplus furniture diverted from the landfill results in a greenhouse gas offset of two to three metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

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Cost Savings

Reuse is less expensive than disposal and even recycling. This inventory would
have required a minimum of six 30-yard roll-off waste containers.

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Social Responsibility

Hundreds of children will have improved learning experiences for years to come.

Inventory

school furniture staged in cafeteria
1,161 furniture items staged in school cafeteria for loading onto two 40’ ocean containers destined for Amman, Jordan

Destination

Jordan faces an extreme refugee situation. More than one million refugees have poured into Jordan since the conflict in Syria began. Humanitarian organizations, such as Helping Hands for Humanity, are providing increased access to education for refugee children. A suitable learning environment is vital to the children’s success. Age-appropriate classroom furniture, where before there was none, makes a big difference in their learning experiences.

map showing route from Seattle to Amman Jordan

Furniture Reuse Solutions has a customer-centric focus with a shared commitment to the environment and community. FRS services are built around maximizing customer value in terms of cost, sustainability, and societal benefit. Likewise, we are dedicated to providing our network of charities and nonprofits with opportunities for gifts-in-kind donations that aid them in their humanitarian missions. Clients include Fortune 500 corporations, K-12 school districts, healthcare groups, and colleges and universities.

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