Binder Project

The Binder Project


On USE2 Austin’s list of items you should never buy new, binders are in the top five, somewhere below Christmas decorations and above picture frames.  As we move toward a paperless world, binders are stacking up in vast numbers on the back end of our resale systems.  And yet, driven by convenience, people continue to buy new binders.  

Meanwhile, office supply trade journals list demand for eco friendly products as the number one trend for 2019, a trend driven by Millenials and Generation Z.  AND, at the same time, textbook companies are issuing unbound, looseleaf textbooks, driving a demand for three ring binders on university campuses.

With all this in mind, USE2, partnered with The University Coop in Spring 2020 to pilot offering students the option to buy a convenient, affordable reused school supply. 

The Binder Project is currently on hold due to Covid-19.  When circumstances permit, we will continue to explore the economics of reuse in traditional retail settings as well as branding and messaging that blurs distinctions between “new” and “used” and involve committed, bright, young minds in developing the reuse side of the circular economy.  

In the meanwhile, you can always buy pre-owned binders at USE2’s Neighborhood Reuse Center located at 2311 Brown Lane Unit O.  Click on the navigation menu at the top of this page to see hours of operations and a map of our location.

Binders, Binders, Everywhere!!

These binders were headed to the landfill but now they are headed to the University Coop to house looseleaf textbooks for environmentally conscious students.  Because binders are made of a composite of materials, some recyclable and some not, resellers have no choice but to landfill them.  USE2 Austin is creating wholesale markets that capture and recirculate binders and many other types of products.