About Sustainable Surplus

Who we are

A Public Benefit Organization

Sustainable Surplus Exchange is a 501(c)3 public benefit organization created to serve our community through a sustainable practice of reuse and repurposing.

SSE supports the environment by diverting corporate surplus and out-of-use items from landfills and redirecting them for use by the community, especially educational and charitable institutions. Surplus includes everything from office supplies and furniture to computers and laboratory equipment. Through this practice of reuse and repurposing, we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of solid waste and conserve the natural resources required to extract, manufacture and transport new items.

SSE was founded to provide an innovative, practical solution to redirect the unnecessary waste of business organizations into a sustainable practice, resulting in an environmental, equitable and economic impact on our community. Thus, our motto is:
“We Turn Corporate Excess into Community Assets.”

Our Mission

"To engage the community in environmental and economic sustainability by preventing needless waste from entering the landfills through repurposing still useful items for reuse."

Our Vision

Sustainable Surplus will build a bridge between commerce and the community to support environmental and economic sustainability. We will educate and create an awareness and understanding of the smart use of assets in order to protect our environment and conserve natural resources. Through the act of repurposing, we will divert excess waste going into our landfill. Our community will be enriched by the convergence of commerce and the community.

Our History

"We Turn Corporate Excess into Community Assets."

Sustainable Surplus Exchange (SSE) was founded to provide an innovative, practical solution to redirect the unnecessary waste of business organizations into a sustainable practice, resulting in an environmental, equitable and economic impact on our community.

SSE harvests usable “retired” business assets from companies and redistributes them in support of the community, especially schools and nonprofits. SSE founder Sue Prelozni was determined to reduce waste of viable goods unnecessarily sent to landfills, and at the same time, benefit all regional community groups with business-donated surplus.

In the current economy of reduced funding for academia, thinning donations to charitable organizations and growing low-income community needs on the one side, and the growing social responsibility of a green-minded business community on the other, SSE was envisioned as a timely intermediary to match ongoing needs for basic supplies with surplus goods.

Ms. Prelozni researched the viability and sustainability of this Exchange. Support from industry was overwhelmingly positive. She engaged a Steering Community of diverse and knowledgeable people who gave input from the perspectives of waste management, business facilities/operations, procurement, recycling and environmental health. The Exchange soon caught the attention of the SEEDs Alliance – a nonprofit group created to promote sustainability best practices in the life sciences arena – and several Alliance members joined the SSE Steering Committee.

The vision became the genesis of Sustainable Surplus Exchange and we launched in the Spring of 2011.


Community Need

Hundreds of nonprofit organizations, schools, charter schools, and college science departments, voiced their needs for supplies, office equipment, as well as equipment to teach science. Support of both industry and community collaborators enabled the Exchange to prepare for our test launch in February 2011.

Industry Support

The SSE Board of Directors leveraged its connections with the commercial sector for donations of surplus assets. Every company we approached embraced our mission, and if feasible, donated items to SSE at once. Awareness of the Exchange as a well-organized system of facilitating and delivering business resources has grown organically via word-of-mouth and community outreach. Over 130 people from educational and charitable organizations signed up in the first three months. Today, SSE has new member sign-ups almost daily.

We solidified the support of more than a dozen collaborators in the recycling arena. Any items that cannot be repurposed are handled by our recycling partners with a portion of those proceeds feeding back into the Exchange to support our operations.

Sustainable Growth

The goal of the Exchange was, and continues to be, to operate within close parameters of sustainability. Our expenses are controlled and we leverage relationships for warehouse space, moving/transportation and IT/software support. While we are strongly supported with volunteers, as we continue our strong growth, SSE will be a consistent source of job creation in each community it serves. The long-term plan is to create satellite operations in other communities, growing our mission globally.

Board of Directors

Learn more about the amazing team behind Sustainable Surplus Exchange.

  • Charlie Copelan

    McKinney Advisory Group

    Aaron Brooks

    Major, US Marine Corps

    Steve Hermes, CPA (retired), MBA

    SSE Board CFO/Treasurer
    Co-Founder and Secretary, Mission Edge San Diego

  • Sue Prelozni, MA

    CEO/ED, - Sustainable Surplus

    Zelda Waxenberg

    President, Co-Founder Bottles & Wood

    Len Hering, RADM (retired)

    Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Energy

  • Jeff Bishop, MA, LEED GA

    APS General Contractors

    Paul Christman

    Sempra Energy


Our Board Advisors

Learn more about our excellent board advisors below.

  • Sandy Atkinson

    Former Executive Director, Solana Center for Environmental Innovation
    Consultant, Environmental Education & Waste Diversion

    Kelly Bagla, Esq.

    Bagla Law

    Alan Ball

    Founding Partner at Sustainable Intelligence LLC
    Chair at California Alliance of Southern California

  • Bill Brenza

    Business Development & Environmental Consulting RMG

    John Capito

    Environmental Health & Safety Manager
    GE Water & Process Technologies

    William (Bill) Conner

    Founder and President, MicroVision Optical, Inc
    Founder and President, Cassablanca Harley-Davidson

  • Brian Grana

    US Marine Corps Officer (retired)

    Connie Harrell

    President - So California Kieretsu Forum

    Shari Joyce

    SSE ex-Board Secretary
    CEO - Divine Consultant

  • David Lange

    Project Manager, Haley & Aldrich

    Eric Mathur

    Chief Science Officer, VP Crop Science Yulex Corporation

    Patti Mason

    Non-Profit Organization Management Consultant
    Former CEO, Accion - San Diego

  • Ruprecht VonButtlar

    Director, Business Advisors Procopio



Sustainable Surplus offers four major programs to benefit students, teachers, schools and nonprofits, as well as the environment. Click on a program below to learn more and Get Involved!


Bring-Your-Own-Box – BYOB Event

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Employee Environmental Education Day

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ReUse 4 Good

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