The Collegian
Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rethink waste opens new location, expands Spider Exchange

The University of Richmond Office of Spider Exchange building on New Fraternity Row.
The University of Richmond Office of Spider Exchange building on New Fraternity Row.

The Rethink Waste Office opened the doors of its new location to the University of Richmond community on Jan. 28. The office incorporated the UR office-supply exchange program, which was the previous office supply exchange on campus, into its Spider Exchange program.  

Rethink Waste's Spider Exchange program now includes a growing collection of office supplies, water bottles, clothes, books and more.  

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to visit the Rethink Waste Office located on New Fraternity Row, 24D. Visitors can shop for or drop off items on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., according to its Instagram page. The program provides an easy and accessible way for students to obtain gently used and donated items instead of purchasing from a store, said senior Indya Woodfolk, a Rethink Waste representative. 

“It was a really cool way for us to have something that’s on-campus and for our campus body that promotes diverting waste from landfills,” Woodfolk said. The program represents efforts to make the UR community more sustainable, Woodfolk said. 

“It’s easier to come here and get a binder or something for your class compared to driving to Walmart and buying something that’s brand new," Woodfolk said. "It’s one way of making it easier and more environmentally friendly.”

The concept of Spider Exchange as a free store makes it very exciting for the campus, said junior Rosa Lovo said, Rethink Waste student manager. 

“It can be a valuable resource for students because it has everything you could think of needing on campus. If you want binders to organize your papers better, we have a myriad of binders,” Lovo said. 

Sophomore Emma Strauss, a Rethink Waste representative, said she hoped the program could keep growing.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress and now we have this entire space," Strauss said. "I just hope that more people hear about it, and more people want to come here and use this as alternatives to places like Walmart and other fast fashion options. Because this is a sustainable way and also a free way to shop.”

Lovo said she hoped to see the program grow as well, and shared that the biggest challenge as of now was being able to get people down to the Rethink Waste house, she said. 

“I want people to be more aware of us," Lovo said. "We have an Instagram account: @ur.rethinkwaste. We have lots of different events. We table in THC. We’re going to start tabling in the dining hall more than likely in the future."  

The group wants to have more clothing racks in the future, Woodfolk said. 

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The Spider Exchange will have a larger collection of school supplies and will be there as an alternative for back-to-school shopping in the fall, Woodfolk said. 

Contact news writer Jasmin Portillo at

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