An MIT-Sized Neighborhood Swap

Publication Date

The VPF Property Office historically has worked with MIT DLCs to repurpose surplus lab equipment, furniture, and other reusable supplies. Last year, for example, in conjunction with the MIT Warehouse and Equipment Exchange, it tracked 840 pieces of lab equipment and furniture that were swapped from one lab to another. With an increase in buildings, lab space, equipment, and research activity on our campus, the Property Office has been looking for a more efficient way to help MIT's DLCs reuse surplus property. Enter Rheaply.
Rheaply (think “research cheaply”) is a new online service available to MIT that hosts a free reuse marketplace for furniture, supplies, and equipment. Currently in a pilot phase, Rheaply is now open to MIT community members with a Kerberos account. You can list surplus equipment and offer it to the wider community and post requests for specific equipment and supplies you need for your lab, center, or department. You can also personalize your Rheaply homepage to filter items of interest and receive notifications when new items are posted.
Rheaply“We are thrilled to offer this new service to encourage reuse of surplus materials,” says Michael McCarthy, VPF Property Manager. “There are so many advantages to Rheaply—extending the life of usable equipment, saving money by cutting down on new purchases, and supporting the lnstitute’s sustainability goals by reducing lab waste, storage, and disposal costs,” he says. “In addition, by using Rheaply, we can collect data on reuse trends and waste diversion, and document actual savings to individual DLCs and the Institute as a whole.”
Erin George, the Property Disposal Officer in the VPF Property Office, serves on the Rheaply implementation team. “I work with DLCs daily to find appropriate ways to reuse surplus equipment. My primary goal is to redeploy assets on campus whenever possible,” she says. “With Rheaply in place, we’ll be able to modernize the reuse process and collect data on our efforts. Users will be able to send messages within the Rheaply platform and not have to rely on bulk email exchanges or other less efficient ways of communicating about surplus equipment.”
The Rheaply pilot is a collaboration of the VPF Property Office, the MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS), the Department of Facilities, and Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S). The team is gathering feedback from users and developing a list of MIT-specific features for the Institute’s account. “We asked Rheaply to add a tab for information on moving equipment, so now, once a match is made, the labs can easily access resources to hire a moving company and have equipment moved from one building to another,” says Erin. “We want to hear from everyone who is using Rheaply on other features to add to the platform.”
When using Rheaply, note that MIT-tagged assets will require Property Office review. Chemicals, lasers, and biological and radioactive materials cannot be posted.
Questions? Contact Michael McCarthy at 617-253-2779 or Erin George at 617-324-7204.

Sign into Rheaply and Start Saving!

  • Visit Rheaply’s website to log in
  • Post your unwanted surplus or submit a post to request items
  • Set up your profile to customize the listings to your specific interests
  • Provide feedback and make suggestions for improvement 
  • Tell your colleagues about Rheaply 
  • More users = more savings + less waste!