First Advisor

Daryl Pierson

Date of Award

Spring 6-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Environmental Studies and University Honors


Environmental Science and Management




higher education, recycling, reuse, reuse room, sustainability, waste management


This undergraduate honors thesis discusses the importance of how reuse rooms on university and college campuses can reduce waste by providing an alternative method of disposal other than landfills. There is currently no definition in use that exists for the term reuse room. This thesis defines a reuse room as a community room where anyone with access can donate and take free items that can be reused, recycled, repurposed, repaired and reworn. The goal of a reuse room is to encourage waste reduction, promote and destigmatize the use of second-hand materials, and save money and items from going to landfills. Reuse room managers from universities and colleges in the state of Oregon, including Pacific University, University of Oregon, Reed College, and Lewis & Clark College were interviewed virtually for the case study section to create a discourse community surrounding existing reuse rooms and to provide information for other institutions looking to implement reuse rooms. Data from the Portland State University (PSU) Reuse Room from six fiscal years provides an analysis of average weight and cost savings for the people who used it, and recommendations for the creation and development of reuse rooms at other universities or colleges. Reuse rooms save waste from landfills and save money for those who use them, and by implementing them, campuses can become more sustainable.