“Circularity” may be a mouthful for those hearing about it for the first time, but it is worth getting to know the concept more deeply. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a thought-leader in this space, describes a circular system or economy as one that breaks away from the “linear” consumption system (which relies on extraction, consumption, and waste) and reframes based on three principles: (1) eliminate waste and pollution (2) circulate products and materials at their highest value (3) regenerates nature.

To encourage and support circularity broadly and build on existing programs, The Circularity Center launched as a pilot in May 2022. The project is funded through the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and made possible by numerous partners, including Mail & Receiving Services, Resource Management, Residential Living, Quadrangle Housing, and Government & Community Relations. The Circularity Center is located on WashU’s North Campus.

From April – September, the Circularity Center operates Share Our Stuff, a program that collects and processes materials donated from students moving out of on-campus and off-campus housing, and makes the materials available for reuse to other students moving into housing over the summer and fall. From October – April, the Circularity Center is available as a resource for offices, labs, and departments looking for lightly-used office supplies, equipment, electronics and furniture. There is cross over, with special sales offering whatever unique items we have on hand.

While the center is a physical space encouraging reuse, WashU also has a virtual reuse platform available, WashU Reuse, which is encouraged for direct exchanges between offices and departments across the university. Students can also utilize WashUReuse to discover materials and exchange with others in the WashU community.

Circularity programs that now operate through the Circularity Center include:

  • Office Supply Exchange – office supplies accepted and distributed through Campus Mail
  • Share Our Stuff – collections and sales
  • WashUReuse – an online inventory of university surplus available for reuse, as well as for personal exchanges within the WashU community.

Step into Circularity with a Donation

Current as of November 2023, subject to change.

Due to space restrictions, the Circularity Center can only accept items listed in the categories below, which is informed by the reuse outlets during the given time period. For recycling, reuse, donation and disposal of other items, you can view our guides and resources here.

What is Accepted and When

Repurpose to support student housing: May 2023 – September 2023

  • Mini-fridges
  • Lounge furniture (couches, side tables, chairs)
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Limited office chairs (small desks, office chairs)
  • Kitchen furniture, appliances (table/chairs, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, coffee maker)
  • Household items (dishes, utensils)
  • Basic electronics (computer monitors, TVs, keyboards, mouse, etc.)
  • Office supplies

Repurpose for internal university operations: September 2023 – March 2024

  • Lounge furniture (couches, side tables, chairs)
  • Office/classroom furniture (desks, office chairs, conference tables, dry erase boards, art)
  • Kitchen furniture, appliances (table/chairs, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, coffee maker)
  • Office kitchen supplies and appliances (dishes, utensils, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, coffee maker)
  • Electronics (computer monitors, keyboards, mouse, TVs, projectors, A/V equipment, etc.)
  • Office supplies

Proceeds from sales support the operations of the Share Our Stuff program and the Circularity Center, ensuring the social, environmental and financial sustainability of the programs. 

Learn More

Move-out Collections Promote Circularity at WashU

Check out upcoming sale dates & open houses as they are announced

Sharing Economy at WashU (don’t buy, share!)

The Trading Post, operated by Sharing With a Purpose (SWAP), is a non-profit STEP business with a free-cycle storefront on the S40, geared towards students.