Case Study: Virco Advocates Furniture Reuse

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Overview

Virco Manufacturing Corporation provides furniture to the educational market. Their client, a southern California school district, was upgrading their furnishings in two elementary schools and one middle school. This project resulted in thousands of decommissioned furniture items. The district wanted an alternative to recycling and disposal. Virco, in alliance with Furniture Reuse Solutions , offered a sustainable solution.

loading container with furniture

Opportunity/Challenges

When school districts undergo major refurbishments, asset disposition decisions need to be made. This surplus had no value in the resale market, but was still in usable condition. The best way to uphold the district’s sustainability goals was to donate the furniture to charity.

The project had a tight timeframe – three schools in two days. All of this happened during a pandemic and with poor air quality due to wildfires in the region.

Solution

Virco offered an alternative to recycling/disposal with a reuse solution through Furniture Reuse Solutions (FRS) and their mover partner. FRS matched the large surplus inventory with an international charity serving economically disadvantaged communities.

Five 40’ ocean containers were brought to the school sites. Each container was loaded high and tight with more than 500 items in approximately two hours. All five shipments went to Jamaica.

Results

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2,550 Furniture Items Repurposed

Three schools generated 2,550 surplus items, which filled five ocean containers destined for Jamaica.

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28 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 15 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

movers loading container with furniture
table showing inventory piece count and weight
pie chart showing inventory by furniture category

Destination

Many school facilities in Jamaica are in dire condition. There are not enough chairs and desks for the school children. Much of the furniture is damaged and not conducive to a stable learning environment.

Grateful staff in recipient schools have reported that the “new” furniture has made a huge difference in the learning environment. Students are more attentive, better behaved, and exhibit a positive attitude toward learning.

map highlighting Port of Long Beach and Kingston, Jamaica
“Virco has long been committed to providing furniture reuse options to our clients. The project went smoothly, from initial logistics planning through final execution. We at Virco are proud to see this furniture going to those in need.”
Carlos Rodriguez
Virco Field Service/Project Manager

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