Shop for free school supplies, recycle electronics at UIC Sustainability events

More than 700 people attended last year’s Great Stuff Exchange

Are you looking for some free back-to-school items or do you need to recycle electronics?

The UIC Office of Sustainability will host three events this month with the mission of helping the UIC community reuse and recycle.

Throughout the year, the Office of Sustainability collects gently used office supplies from campus departments and gives it away to UIC students and employees during the annual Great Stuff Exchange. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Quad (with a rain date of Sept. 19).

More than 700 people attended last year’s event, leaving with free items such as binders, folders, stationery, toner and ink cartridges, cleaning supplies, reams of paper, bulletin boards, keyboards, and more. More than 500 cubic feet of office supplies were given away last year.

“We get thousands of new arrivals to campus each fall, and we want to impress upon them that we’re serious about our zero-waste objectives,” said Joe Iosbaker, Office of Sustainability recycling coordinator. “Were it not for the Great Stuff Exchange, where would all of those items go? During waste audits, I see a lot of stuff that’s used — but usable and unwanted — in the trash, so we’re keeping it out of the landfill.”

Last year, 5.6 tons of electronics were recycled at the Campus Electronics Recycling Collection events.

The Office of Sustainability also hosts two Campus Electronics Recycling Collection events this month, which help campus departments and members of the UIC community dispose of old electronics. During last year’s collection events, 5.6 tons of electronics were recycled.

Drop-off locations include:

  • 10 a.m-2 p.m. Sept. 18, south of Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
  • 10 a.m-2 p.m. Sept. 25, plaza above the Atkins Medicinal Plant Garden and south of the Administrative Office Building

“We have a very successful program of electronic recycling on campus,” Iosbaker said. “We’re facilitating getting old electronics out of campus departments — how much easier is it to have your staff put them on carts and roll them to a location very near your office?”

For more information or to donate items to the Office of Sustainability for reuse/recycling, email

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