Local News

University's trash becomes treasure for nonprofits

Posted August 30, 2009 11:15 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2009 7:08 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina State University is celebrating a massive project that kept over a half-million pounds of furniture out of the landfill – and in use by people in need.

"We set a new standard,” said Jim Hansen, who handles surplus property for N.C. State.

Hansen decided to call non-profit groups when the university replaced furniture in six dorm buildings. The school donated about 5,600 pieces of furniture which otherwise would have been thrown away.

“I just told them we had furniture available. That basically enabled us to get rid of everything but 15 desks,” Hansen said.

The donation also put thousands of desks, dressers and beds to good use.

"It is a wonderful opportunity not only to help the environment but also to help others in need,” said Barry Olson, associate director of N.C. State's University Housing.

Residents at the Durham Rescue Mission's Good Samaritan Inn, where some of the future went, said they are thankful.

"That makes me feel really good to know that there are others who see the need to help this place out,” said Brandolyn Bryson, Good Samaritan Inn resident.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure, so this is my treasure,” Good Samaritan Inn resident Nia Southerland said of the furniture.

As part of that renovation project, N.C. State installed energy-saving LED light fixtures in some dorm rooms. The university estimates the switch cut energy costs for lighting by about two-thirds.