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From Trash to Treasure: Office Supply Reuse Program

The pilot Trash to Treasure reuse program encourages the responsible disposal and repurposing of office items including furniture, equipment and supplies.  

Trash to Treasure Pilot Program

The Trash to Treasure pilot program serves as a platform for McMaster staff and faculty to exchange university-owned goods between campus departments and university-sanctioned clubs in order to foster community, promote financial responsibility, and support recycling and ‘upcycling’ efforts on campus. We encourage staff and faculty to support their students and student clubs in accessing this platform.

This student-led program, with support from Facility Services, UTS, and the Office of Sustainability, aims to streamline the process of office supply redistribution on campus by making it easy for participants to post or view listed items via a dedicated Microsoft Teams channel.  

To access the Trash to Treasure pilot, please click on this link to be brought to Microsoft Teams’ Trash to Treasure Channel

Code of conduct:

  1. Free or For Sale: Owners are to clearly state if items are for ‘Free’ or ‘Sale’. SALES transactions can only take place between departments and must be done through Mosaic Chartfield account. No cash, e-transfer, credit (including P-Cards), or debit transactions are allowed. For other and large value items, please refer to
  2. Movement of Items: New owners are responsible for collecting the item(s) in a timely manner. Large items should be moved by Facility Services staff. New owners can submit a service request or email for support. While we suggest that new owners take on these responsibilities, it is at the discretion of the coordinating departments and individuals.
  3. Communication: Within 24 Hours: Provide a prompt response to questions about your listing and wait up to 24 hours for a reply from someone interested in your listing before moving on to the next person.
  4. Respect: Spam and/or disrespectful language will not be tolerated.
  5. Update Postings: The original owner is requested to update the post title leading with “donated/sold” once a new owner has been confirmed so that others know the item is no longer available. Please note that we would like past posts to remain on the site for information and reporting purposes.

*Please follow your department’s specific protocols and read and Understand McMaster’s Capital Assets (Tracking and Disposition) Policy before interacting with this group.

Instructions for posting:

  1. Take Photos: Capture clear and well-lit photos of the furniture from various angles. Ensure the images accurately represent the item’s condition.
  2. Include Dimensions: In your listing, provide the exact dimensions of the furniture (height, width, and depth).
  3. Describe the Condition: Be honest about the furniture’s condition. Use terms like “new,” “lightly used,” “some flaws,” or “many visible flaws” to describe its state accurately. For example:
    • “New” for furniture in excellent, like-new condition.
    • “Lightly used” for furniture that has minimal wear.
    • Some flaws” for items with noticeable imperfections.
    • “Many visible flaws” for furniture that is damaged but still functional.
  4. List Any Additional Information: Mention any other relevant details, such as the brand, material, colour, or any other features the furniture may have.
  5. Specify Pick-Up Details: Explain how the recipient can pick up the furniture, including your location and available pickup times

Frequently Asked Questions

Facility Services is responsible for pickup and transfer of (university-owned) items posted. Trucking starts at $48 (free for clubs) and set-up may incur additional cost; unless otherwise agreed upon, the buyer/receiver is expected to contact and to cover this cost.

No. The program is restricted to the main campus.

Students representing a club or other sanctioned organization, staff and faculty.

Only for inter-department sales and transportation; clubs can only accept free items (donations). Only Mosaic Chartfield accounts are accepted for payment.

No, only university-owned furniture is allowed.