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Furniture4Reuse celebrates success of stationery scheme

09 Jul 2024

Furniture4Reuse, the University’s dedicated used furniture store, has a dedicated scheme for colleagues and students to donate any unused stationery.

Graphic showing a desk setup

The scheme has been a success, with essential office items such as pens, paper, card, notepads, and staplers being rehomed across campus. Reused stationery not only helps us in our sustainability strategy but saves money for Schools and Departments too, as the items are free of charge.

Furniture4Reuse has brought a range of benefits. Over the last 12 months, the facility has saved colleagues and students over £275,000 by reusing furniture within department buildings and allowing colleagues and students to take items home. Alongside this, there have been savings of over £10,000 by the redistribution of unused printer toner cartridges.

Peter Liddell, Furniture4Reuse Supervisor, said: “We’ve been thrilled with the response to our stationery reuse scheme so far, and to support sustainable action on campus. It’s proved so popular that our challenge now is to replenish our stock – so we’d like to ask everyone to look on their desks and in their drawers for any unused stationery they’d like to donate.”

Julia Durkan, Acting Head of Sustainability, said: “It is fantastic to see colleagues and students support opportunities to think sustainably and reuse items where possible. Stationery waste might seem small but can build up quickly and, as it's made up of several different materials, is hard to recycle. It's great that we can offer this service on campus.”

Items of stationery accepted 

Paper, pens, pencils, rulers, staplers, staples, card, post it notes, note pads, folder dividers, tape, masking tape, erasers, scissors, tape dispensers, labels, pencil sharpeners, highlighters, white board markers, permanent markers, bulldog clips, paper clips, drawing pins, calculators, hole punchers and blu-tack.

Items we cannot accept.

Unfortunately, due to limited capacity and a lack of demand we are unable to accept the following items:

  • A4 Lever arch folders, box files, hanging file folders and A4 ring binders.

Staff Guidance on how to donate surplus items of stationery.

  • Small amounts of stationery can be placed in an envelope or jiffy bag and sent in the internal post to Furniture4Reuse, B.31 Simon Building
  • Larger amounts can be placed in a clear bag (available from House Services). Please put a sticker/note on the bags stating “For re-use/Furniture Store”. These can then be left next to your nearest internal recycling bins. They will be collected by House Services staff and transported to the Furniture Store by the Campus Cleansing team.
  • If there are significant amounts of stationery, we can collect directly from your building. please email:
  • For more information please visit Stationery re-use (The University of Manchester)

For colleagues who would like to make use of the free stationery, the store is open between 12.00pm-3.00pm each Wednesday and Thursday. You do not need to book an appointment, but please bring your staff ID card.

Our sustainability strategy

Furniture4Reuse, which is delivered by our Directorate of Estates and Facilities, is just one of the sustainability initiatives we have in the University. We are investing £160m into improving the efficiency of our buildings, and recently announced an agreement to purchase our electricity from a 104,000-panel solar farm, which will provide up to 65% of our electricity and save 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Our air travel has also decreased by almost 50%, saving over 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. We have divested from all fossil fuel companies and reduced the carbon intensity of other investments by 55%.

The University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy was published in 2023, outlining our commitment to sustainability. We aim to achieve zero direct carbon emissions by 2038, surpassing net zero, and are committed to addressing global challenges through research, education, public engagement, and responsible campus operations.