News

Portland State Reuse Room open again after renovation
Author: Kelsey Hill, Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: December 31, 2018

A campus staple was out of sight for the past few months. It was not out of mind, however. As soon as the Reuse Room closed its doors for renovation last summer, the community made itself heard through visits, notes, emails, phone calls and comments. The Reuse Room is a space for community and connection, and we are so thankful to be able to provide an opportunity for dialogue between those who matter most: each of you.

First to go in the renovation were the mailboxes, left behind from when Cramer Hall room 180 served as the post office in the first building constructed explicitly for Portland State University. Cramer Hall was named after PSU’s first President, John Francis Cramer, and has since housed the Anthropology, Economics, Geology, and Geography departments, among others. The Reuse Room moved into Cramer 180 in 2011, and it has been a fixture in the building and a sustainability hub on campus since.

In place of the mailboxes, we installed a display case for interesting finds and a new wall decal. Inside, this change also allowed us to expand shelving space along the interior wall. The additional storage space means the Reuse Room can support more inventory, offered alongside easy-to-read labels that help make it easier than ever to access the items you need. Fresh, fun colors on the walls remind visitors of our sustainability mission: greens and blues represent the vibrant, healthy planet we are all working towards and that each visitor to the Reuse Room contributes to by creating less waste.

How to be an active reuser in the PSU Reuse Room:

  • Drop off donations in the yellow bins conveniently located next to the window in the main hall
  • Make announcements, draw fun pictures and share new ideas on our new chalkboard wall! Communal chalk is available.
  • Bring or take books from our growing lending library! Reusers can feel free to take any titles that catch their eye, and bring them back (or not).
  • Test out any electric appliances with a centrally-located outlet labeled ‘Try Me!’, and help yourself to cardboard boxes (when available), to carry all of your awesome finds.

You may catch us while you’re browsing our shelves! Volunteers from the Waste Reduction Task Force and staff from the Campus Sustainability Office are often on-site within normal business hours to assist with finding items, answering questions, and keeping the space nice and tidy.


We look forward to many more years of reducing and reusing while serving students, staff, faculty, and the Portland community. PSU reusers are central to creating a sustainable campus, and in doing so, a more prosperous and inclusive Portland. Reusers can keep up with the room, our pop-up swaps, and the Waste Reduction Task Force by following PSU Reuses on Facebook, and sustainability news on the Sustainability at Portland State University page, and you can follow both on Instagram @sustainablepdx. See more photos of the new and improved Reuse Room on Flickr.