RUSH University Medical Center diverts 53,000 pounds of furniture waste via the Rheaply Platform

May 18, 2023

In 2021, RUSH University Medical Center was in the midst of planning the demolition of one of the older buildings on its west side campus. As staff and departments were decanted out of the Kidston building into other fully furnished spaces across the campus (and in some cases across the system), they left behind tons of office furniture. Through surveying and cataloging items that remained, the RUSH team identified more than 27 tons of furniture in the building that totaled an estimated value of nearly $200k.

What is RUSH University?

RUSH University Medical Center is a renowned academic medical center located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a leading institution dedicated to exceptional patient care, groundbreaking research, and comprehensive medical education. With a rich history spanning over 180 years, RUSH has evolved into a cutting-edge facility at the forefront of medical advancements. The medical center boasts state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technologies, and a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare. It offers a wide range of specialized services, including cardiovascular care, cancer treatment, neurology, orthopedics, and more. RUSH is affiliated with RUSH University, enabling collaboration between healthcare professionals and students to drive innovation and improve patient outcomes. RUSH’s dedication to community outreach and health equity initiatives further reinforces its mission to improve the well-being of individuals and communities it serves.

RUSH University Medical Center success

When a building is set to be demolished, the first step is to completely empty the building, which often results in furniture going straight to a landfill. Over the first 6 months, 86 clinicians, administrators, researchers, and technicians used Rheaply to divert 19,000 pounds of furniture waste from the landfill to other buildings within the RUSH system. The weight of diverted resources is roughly 38 dumpsters, 6 Honda Civics, or half of an entire mobile home – all saved from landfill.


Since then, RUSH has continued to scale their internal reuse efforts leading to some amazing metrics:

Internal reuse
items exchanged to date
value recaptured
$ 0 k+
Waste diversion
lbs. diverted from landfill
0 k+

What’s next for RUSH?

Through data reporting by Rheaply, RUSH was able to notice that office chairs, small desks and small storage solutions were the most sought-after items claimed on the platform. The RUSH Environmental Sustainability team is capturing items that fall under those categories and that are in good condition which would otherwise be thrown away for storage in a small “Reuse Warehouse” in the Atrium Building sub-basement. RUSH’s team plans on posting those items to Rheaply in the hopes that there will always be a stock of these, available in real-time on the Rheaply Resource Exchange platform for staff members to share and request assets at their leisure.

Rush University Decommission Case Study

Rheaply allows us to achieve sustainability and cost avoidance. One of our lab managers saved his department $6,000 by not buying new – and kept a heck of a lot of furniture out of the landfill.

Katie Pittman
Sustainability Coordinator

Start your reuse journey

As an sustainability professional, you can ensure each item finds its highest and best use by routing reusable items back into your organization, freeing you up to focus on what’s important.

As a facilities manager, you can manage the flow of surplus supplies and equipment within your network and lower your spend on new resources.

As a lab manager, you can get the equipment and supplies you need faster by utilizing what’s already available.

Are you a RUSH University staff member or researcher? You can log into RUSH University’s resource exchange here.

Hospitals have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars through Rheaply.

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Internal reuse can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars