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Research requires materials from the largest pieces of equipment to the smallest microcentrifuge tubes. When there are extra materials, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers send them to the UAB Surplus Warehouse for proper processing and disposal. While other researchers can comb through the supplies and take them back to their labs, it’s been a tedious task as it can’t be done online. UAB Sustainability has partnered with a shared resource platform – Rheaply – to make sharing supplies as easy as a click of a button.

“It’s similar to online shopping, but the items are free” said Nick Ciancio, sustainability coordinator for UAB Sustainability. His team partnered with several UAB departments; including Asset Management, Environmental Health & Safety, and the Heersink School of Medicine; to bring this platform to UAB’s campus. “The Rheaply platform enables our more than 2,000 principal investigators to list any extra supplies they have, including descriptions and photos, for their peers to shop from. Researchers will also be able to reserve equipment that they would like to use without having to purchase their own.”

The online marketplace launches Aug. 23. Ciancio expects researchers to be excited about the availability of items and about the sustainability aspect of conserving resources. Rheaply will visit campus Aug. 21 and 22 to provide onboarding assistance and additional resources to researchers interested in the platform. Find all Rheaply training sessions on the UAB Campus Calendar.

“UAB values sustainability in every facet of its operations,” Ciancio said. “Rheaply will not only allow us to achieve our sustainability goals but will also maximize how our research dollars are spent by saving researchers a significant amount of their funding."

Rheaply is an app and website open to all researchers. Start your reuse journey by visiting app.rheaply.com. If you need any assistance with managing a reuse project, feel free to reach out to Ciancio, the UAB Rheaply administrator.