Choose to Reuse: Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is Choose to Reuse held?

The events are held on the third Thursday of the month during the academic year. There are no Choose to Reuse events in the summer.
Drop-off for CtR begins at 8:00 am in the Stata Center’s big white lobby at the corner of Main and Vassar Streets. Getting stuff starts at 11:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm; drop offs continue until noon.

Does it cost anything to attend a Choose to Reuse event?

No, there is no admission charge, but an MIT ID is required to attend.

All of the items are free?

Yep, everything is free. The goal is to extend the life of good products by sharing them with others. By doing this, we’re using less energy and generating less waste overall.

Do I have to bring something to swap in order to participate?

You don’t have to bring in anything to swap. In other words, you don’t have to give to get.

Is there a limit to the number of items I can take?

A maximum of five items may be taken between 11:00 and 12:20. This gives people who can’t take lunch until noon a chance to choose, too. From around 12:20-1:00 there is no limit on the amount of items you may take. Some people come at 11:00, get five items, and come back after 12:20 to get more.

What kinds of things do people bring?

We never know what to expect, but the majority of what people bring includes clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, household goods, books, electronics and sports equipment.

If no one takes the item I donated, do I have to take it back?

No, you don’t have to take the item back. Everything leftover is either recycled or donated through MIT’s Recycling Program.

Are there common things that people don’t want?

It seems that people don’t take video tapes or audio tapes. Also, we get lots of books including text books, but no one takes old texts.

I have something that needs a minor repair. Can I bring that?

No, it’s best not to bring things that need repair. We’re looking for goods that are ready to use or wear.

Are there any restrictions on what to bring?

Yes. Everything should be clean and operable. Items should be light enough to be carried out easily. Food items must be unopened with an unexpired date. Opened packages are not appropriate.

Can I bring things from home?

Sure. However, because the Recycling Program has to pay for the removal of materials from campus, please don’t bring unusable electronic items from home, i.e., old televisions, broken computers, etc. For information on how to recycle specific items look here.

What’s the best kind of thing to bring?

If you're not sure what to bring, consider this: if you wouldn't spend money for it, then don't bring it. We want people to go away with an item that is clean and usable.