CUCCR (Concordia University’s Center for Creative Reuse) is dedicated to diverting materials from inside Concordia’s waste-stream and offering them to the general community free of cost. 

When we first opened in March of 2017 we were unsure of the scale of our potential impact, what types of materials will be donated and will that material get used by the community. We were concerned that people wouldn’t be able to find us or they wouldn’t be interested in going out of their way. Yet in our first two years of operation, we have vastly exceeded our own expectations! Originally funded by the Big Hairy Idea competition held by CCSL and the Sustainability Action Fund and with great support from EHS and Facilities Management we converted an 800sq/ft storage cage in the 0 level of the Hall building basement into a bright and inviting place to visit.  That space is transforming into a material and tool literacy space we call the Basement Shed for January 2020. It will be open as a material depot until then. Over the summer of 2019, we expanded our operations and in November we opened the Used Material Depot in the Grey Nuns Building.

Our spaces currently feature a variety of material storage and displays that showcase the diverse materials coming out of offices, departments, studios, and labs on our campus. A variety of wood, glass, metal, fibers, office supplies, plastics, paper, tools and equipment, and arts & crafts supplies fill the shelves.

You will also find a member registration station and a check-out system that sends real-time statistics on waste diversion, money saved, and membership breakdown to the website. We have grown significantly in our first two years of operation, we have over 2300 members, saving them approximately $138,000 while diverting 14 tonnes of free materials from Concordia’s waste stream. See our live stats on our metrics page.

CUCCR is a multi-stakeholder project and we need everyone’s help! Join us and become a member. Our membership is free and open to anyone and everyone. You can sign up in person and online on our membership page. Want to get more involved? Volunteer in the depot, become a sustainability ambassador to help with reclaim-a-thon and set up a donation bin in your area, advocate for us within your department or area of the university, or contribute financially.

Seeing the Potential: A Canadian Creative Reuse Centre Case-Study

By Anna Timm-Bottos