In its first year of operation the SWAP Shop has proven to be a popular spot, with more than 3,500 pounds of items valued at over $40,000 exchanged among the campus community, thereby avoiding an ignoble trip to the incinerator. Have you been there?
An eclectic assortment of cast-offs from lab glassware, to small furniture, compressed gas regulators, golf course pencils, computer monitors, printer cartridges,
|Suzanne Wood organizes merchandise at the SWAP Shop|
even a jelly bean dispenser, have flowed through the shop over the past 12 months.
"The response from the community has exceeded our expectations, so I want to thank everyone who uses the SWAP Shop, and encourage others who haven't been by yet to check it out," said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMMS.
In October of 2015 SWAP, which stands for "Surplus With A Purpose," evolved from the virtual world of the school's Intranet to a brick-and-mortar shop, now located in room S3-209 of the main medical school building.
UMass Medical School students, faculty and staff are encouraged to bring surplus office supplies, small furniture, or laboratory equipment to the SWAP Shop so others on campus can put the items to good use. Home goods are not accepted.
The shop is open during regular business/school hours and operates on the honor system. People can drop off items at their convenience. When taking an item from the shop, people are asked to make note of it in the log book.
"The mix of items is always changing, so it's worth stopping by a couple of times a month to see what's new," Wood said. "And with the new year around the corner, this is a good time to look around your office or lab and see if there are any useful items gathering dust and drop them off at the shop."
The SWAP Shop accepts office and lab equipment and supplies, but no chemicals, biologicals, isotopes, or needles. Any lab equipment must be appropriately decontaminated before being transported and dropped off at the shop. Large pieces of furniture or major capital items are not accepted. Those items can still be repurposed, but should be handled through the UMMS Purchasing Department's asset moving policy.