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Purchasing Department
1600 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-4115
Fax: (803) 777-2032


Environmental Initiatives

The University of South Carolina’s Purchasing Department serves to support the entire University in the procuring of goods, services, information technology, consultant services and construction. The Purchasing Department is committed to developing creative solutions for ‘closing the loop’ by actively identifying supplies made from recycled products. All bid documents include clauses for the proper disposal by contractors of all waste and packaging materials associated with shipping materials to the University.

As we have stated in the past, education and University support are the keys to the success of our programs and initiatives. Our staff provides information to departments on suggestions for reducing their solid waste, alternative sources of recycled products and the promotion of the availability of products made from recycled products. This information has also been distributed through articles in the USC Times newspaper, our website, responses to inquiries and purchasing training sponsored by Human Resources. We believe that the University staff and faculty will make even more environmentally sound decisions when making purchasing goods if we continue to develop more methods to present opportunities for them to help close the loop and encourage their active participation in the process.

Purchasing of Recycled Furniture: Purchasing has presented to the University the concept of purchasing furniture from the commercial secondary (used) furniture market as a viable option for obtaining the level of quality desired but at a considerably lower cost than that of new. Although a visual inspection is highly recommended prior to purchasing the items, by selecting recycled furniture from commercial dealers that specialize in quality new brands, the chances of purchasing less than desirable items are reduced.

Dormitory Furniture: The University has made great efforts to identify government entities and charitable organizations as recipients of donations of old dormitory furniture. After obtaining approvable from the State, selected organizations removed the furniture from the buildings, saving the University the cost of contracting for the removal of the items. Some of the organizations that benefited from donations this year are: Rural Manpower; Foreign Students Association; Alston Wilkes Society; Department of Mental Health and Prevent Child Abuse of South Carolina.

Office Supplies: The University currently utilizes the State Term contracts for office supplies. Their catalogs lists numerousitems identified as having recycled content material by the inclusion of the recycle ‘loop’ symbol.  The copy paper purchased through the state recycled paper contract has a 30% recycle content, which meets federal guidelines.
Maintenance Supplies: Consolidated Services stocks only copy paper, tissue and towels that have a recycle content. The last fiscal year totals of cases used by the campus are listed below.



QuantityHand towels (roll)

5,604 cases

Hand Towels (fold)

1,851 cases

Toilet Tissue (rolls)

1,149 cases

Toilet Tissue (canister rolls)

3,527 cases

Copy Paper

12,050 cases

Bond Paper

3,100 reams

Toner cartridges: A contract has been established for the remanufacturing of empty laser cartridges. They are collected campus-wide by Consolidated Services for remanufacturing and resale to the campus community. The departments are able to realize a tremendous cost savings due to the lower cost of a remanufactured cartridge as compared to a new ‘virgin’ cartridge and disposal of the empty. For some models, the savings can range anywhere from $70-40 per cartridge.

For those toner cartridge models that are either not designed for optimal remanufacturing or lack a of user demand, a contract exists for the sale of the cartridges to a recycler and diverting them from a landfill. The 2001-2002 quantities are listed below.

Cartridges collected for remanufacturing

1085 cartridges

Cartridges collected for sale to recycler

120 cartridges

Scrap & Surplus Items: Consolidated Services collects items for recycling or resale, within the guidelines of State law, diverting tons of materials from landfills every year. When items are returned to Inventory Control, Consolidated Services first attempts to find ways to reuse them elsewhere on campus. After a period of time, when no need has been found for the items, several options are used. Some are sold to a recycler, sent to State Surplus during which they are made available to other government agencies and the public, donated to charitable organizations, or, as a last resort, sent to a landfill. Concrete benches were donated to the Employment Security Commission for placement in migrant farm camps.

200 concrete park benches - Donated to: Employment Security Commission

Number re-issued within USC

875 items

Sent to State Surplus

4,200 items

Electronic Surplus: The Purchasing Department has established a contract for the disposal and recycling of surplus electronic equipment that have been declared as surplus and no longer provides a need for either the University or the State. The University ships this material, at the contractor’s expense, to their facility in Georgia for processing. The University was one of the first agencies in South Carolina to establish a contract for the disposal of electronic surplus by awarding it to a contractor who would not only pay to remove it, but dismantle the equipment to produce ‘raw’ material for re-sell to manufacturers. The State is presently evaluating the establishment of a similar statewide contract for all agencies to utilize.

The contractor specializes in the recycling and reclaiming of electronic components. The surplus electronic items are transferred to their facility for reclaiming. The University is paid a rate of $0.0175/pound for the items. Although the rate appears to be low, it does allow the University to generate revenue and divert much of the waste from landfills. This is just one example of Purchasing’s successful initiatives to seek alternate means to divert waste from landfills for disposal.



Miscellaneous Scrap

166 tons

Scrap Electronics

115 tons

Director of Purchasing:
Venis Manigo
(803) 777-4115