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Cornell University

R5 Operations’ Materials ReUse Program’s PURPOSE, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

R5 Operations Materials Reuse Programs 



  • Provide an accessible and equitable program for distribution of surplus material. 

  • Reduce landfill waste, and support both Cornell’s and Tompkins County’s waste diversion goals. 
  • Increased exchange of materials internally between campus departments. 
  • Support Cornell University’s Strategic Plan’s to: “Make environmental sustainability a guiding principal in the stewardship of the university’s facilities and resources…” 

Release of Items to R5 Operations: 

Non-capital asset item(s) no longer wanted by a department/unit may be released to R5 Operations for reuse. Item(s) must be reusable and include: furniture, surplus building supplies, architectural building components, office supplies, laboratory supplies, etc. 

  • R5 will not accept the following items for reuse: Capitol Assets; Hazardous Waste, chemicals, lab glass, asbestos; items which may not be reused due to data security, health, or safety reasons; Vehicles (regardless of whether vehicle has been removed from the Capitol Asset list). o R5 Operations is not responsible for testing items for possible Hazardous waste, chemicals, asbestos, etc. R5 will decline acceptance of materials for reuse if the above are suspected. 

    • Fees may apply for item(s) collected that must be land-filled. 
    • Items which once were Capital Assets must be properly released from the DFA Capitol Asset Inventory prior to being released to R5 Operations for disposal.
    • Vehicles will not be accepted by R5 Operations regardless of whether the vehicle has been removed from the Capital Asset list. Contact the DFA Capital Assets Department for direction on reuse or sale of vehicles. 

Departments releasing items to R5 Operations for disposal also release authority on how the item(s) is disposed of, and release financial claim to the item(s). 

Where possible, R5 Operations staff will collect item(s) directly from departments/units for reuse at no extra cost to the department/unit. Exceptions include, but may not be limited to: 

  • Requests for removal of large quantities of items/materials such that the scope of the request is beyond the capacity of R5 staff to process and/or move. 

    • Solutions may include 
  • Request for removal of item(s) that require: Trades Labor; material handling equipment that R5 does not use; dismantling of material; other special need.

Material Disposal and Value 

For non-capital asset items released to R5 Operations for disposal or reuse: 

  • R5 Operations will determine value (positive or negative) to the University. 

  • R5 Operations will determine the appropriate waste stream (landfill, recycle, and reuse).
    • Note: fees may apply for item(s) that must be landfilled or processed as Universal Waste where R5 Operations is not funded for the disposal (ex. construction waste, special event waste, etc.)
  • For reusable items, R5 Operations will determine the appropriate reuse program for redistribution. 
  • R5 Operations does not release items at no cost, EXCEPT for Office Supplies/Wood Pallets/Wooden Spools and Donations as described in the sections below. 
  • Any income to R5 Operations for the value of the item(s), whether through recycling income or reuse income is used to reduce overall waste expenses for all campus customers. 

R5 Operations is available to provide support and consultation to campus departments and programs related to material disposal and reuse in cases where items are not/cannot be released to R5 Operations for disposal or reuse. Examples of such services include, but are not limited to: 

  • Walkthroughs of buildings/offices/campus residences to identify and educate individuals on items that will be recyclable, reusable, or landfill. Such service may be utilized for needs ranging from building renovations to semester cleanouts in a Greek House. 

  • Research options and provide contacts for departments wishing to organize an auction of their own surplus materials. Such auctions may occur, for example, during large building cleanouts. 
  • Identifying the “value to Cornell” of items to be disposed of, taking into account value factors such as disposal costs, scrap value, storage costs, and potential for on-campus reuse. 

Material Reuse Programs managed by R5 Operations 

Multiple reuse programs are available for redistributing items for use on the campus and off the campus. Such programs include, but are not limited to: STACS, the Capital Asset Transfer System, Dump & Run, etc. Additional information and web links for all Cornell University Reuse programs is available at 

STACS - the System for Trade & Auction of Cornell Surplus 

The System for Trade & Auction of Cornell Surplus (STACS) is both: 1. A online PUBLIC auction system, for surplus materials no longer needed on the campus and; 2. An online system for internal reallocation of university owned materials. R5 Operations manages the STACS program and utilizes the services of Public Surplus for hosting of the online auction and posting site. Visit R5 Operations website at for a direct link to Cornell items. 

All items posted on STACS are non-capital surplus materials. Examples include: desks, chairs, file cabinets, dry erase boards, and more. 

Items not included on STACS include electronics, hazardous materials, lab glass, asbestos, vehicle, etc. 

STACS has two components: 

  1. A public auction site where any individual or organization can bid on items. 

  2. A listing of materials available only for internal reallocation by other Cornell University departments or units. This listing is available only to staff and faculty (a faculty or staff net and password are required). There is no cost to campus departments or units for items available for internal reallocation. 

R5 Operations decides if items are appropriate for the STACS program, the appropriate value of items, the length of time for items to be posted for auction, and whether items are to be posted for internal reallocation prior to public auction. See the Decision Matrix at end of document for additional information. 

Items purchased/claimed through the STACS system may be picked up between 7:30 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The Cornell Recycle Center is located at 251 Solidago Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. 

Office Supplies/Wood Pallets/Wooden Spools 

Examples of office supplies include, but are not limited to: three ring binders, tape dispensers, pens and markers, paper clips, rubber bands, hanging file folders, etc. 

R5 Operations collects and stores a small supply of Office Supplies/Wood Pallets/Wooden Spools in good condition. 

Office supplies/Wood Pallets/Wooden Spools are available first come, first serve to all departments, staff, faculty, students, and community members. R5 Operations may donate office supplies at any time to Dump and Run and not-for-profit organizations. 

Office supplies/Wood Pallets/Wooden Spools are not inventoried; availability of items may be checked by calling 254-1605 between 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday, or by visiting the Cornell Recycle Center during these hours. 


All donations of Cornell owned items are coordinated by the Department of Community and Government Relations. In cases where R5 Operations assists with any donations, both a Reuse Contract and a Reuse Receipt will be issued by R5 Operations.