A California Unified School District’s facility improvement projects encompass construction and refurbishment throughout the district. As part of facility modernization, a new standard of furnishings is being deployed, resulting in thousands of decommissioned furniture items. The district no longer needed the surplus furniture and sought a sustainable means of disposition. Virco, a leading manufacturer or school furniture, offered the option of redeploying the surplus through charitable donation. Working with Furniture Reuse Solutions (FRS), Virco’s solution enabled the USD to uphold their sustainability goals with a program that provides great benefits to the environment and community at large.
From May 30 to July 21, 2023, classroom furniture was decommissioned from all 20 of the USD’s elementary schools. During this eight week period of intense summer heat, 36 shipments were sent to charities and non-profit organizations in 12 countries. A total of 24,722 pieces of furniture were repurposed, diverting 290 tons from the landfill.
Virco managed the overall decommission project from deinstallation of the old furniture to installation of the new products. The project commenced with an inventory of surplus furnishings. FRS offered these inventories to charities and nonprofits. FRS scheduled transportation and provided on-site project management.
24,722 Items Repurposed
The Unified School District generated 24,772 furniture items for reuse. These items filled 24 40’ ocean containers and 12 53’ tractor trailers.
290 Tons Diverted from Landfill
By diverting from the landfill, the USD realized a greenhouse gas offset equivalent to conserving 122,105 gallons of gasoline (1,085 metric tons CO2 equivalent).
Reuse is less expensive than disposal and recycling. This inventory would have required a minimum of 132 30-yard roll-off waste containers for disposal.
Three international charities sponsored 24 shipments to the Middle East, Central America, and Africa. The furniture will be used in their relief and development efforts. Six shipments went to two domestic non-profits in the greater San Diego area. A school system in Mexico will receive six shipments for their K-12 schools.
Composition by Weight
Charities that serve under-resourced communities know that appropriate school furniture can significantly improve children’s learning experiences. With greater comfort and better workspaces, students become more attentive and engaged in the classroom. Charities in the Furniture Reuse Solutions network received shipments in three continents. Sixteen shipments went to Africa, four to the Middle East, four to Central America, six to Mexico, and six were sent to domestic non-profits in the San Diego area.