At the end of the spring semester, students often wonder how they have accumulated so much “stuff” over the course of the academic year. Clothing and shoes that haven’t been worn in a while, as well as untouched electronics, home goods, and food can be found. The thought of bringing all of these items home or to a new location can be daunting. It can be tempting to toss an enormous amount of reusable items in the trash for landfill disposal.
Each year University Facilities and Services sponsors Move-Out Cleanout to help students get rid of extraneous material in a safe and sustainable manner. With the help of the non-profit organizations Planet Aid and Open Door Mission, the University campus diverted thousands of pounds of waste from the landfill while helping people in need. Big yellow Planet Aid bins were placed Outside of each residence building to collect clothing and shoes. This year, 19,874 pounds (9.9 tons) of clothing and shoes were collected. That set a new record for clothing and is 1,737 pounds more than what was collected last year! A total of 2,588 pounds (1.3 tons) of food was collected and donated to Open Door Mission, an organization that aims to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty in the Rochester area.
Additionally, electronic equipment was collected to be recycled with the aid of Sunnking, which safely recycles all of the University’s unwanted electronics. Following the 3 R’s, Sunnking will first refurbish/resell any re-usable equipment that they can. The remaining equipment is dismantled and the parts are sorted into various metal categories which are then sold on the recycling commodity market.
Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie coordinates the Move-out Cleanout each year. “I am so grateful for the partnerships we have developed with the charity organizations and am always pleased to see the generosity from students who participate.” This year Kadrie had help from a student from the BOCES TOUR program to assist with food collections. The TOUR program assists students with disabilities (ages 18-21) to develop vocational skills and positive work habits. “Peyton [pictured above] offered an extra level of enthusiasm in his work which was a great addition to the program!” Kadrie said.
Student group Grassroots also holds an annual collection event for items, called Dump and Run. During this event, students brought items like room supplies, school equipment, refrigerators and microwaves, outside their residence halls for Grassroots to collect. Grassroots will sell these items to new and returning students looking to furnish their rooms. All profits go towards future Grassroots events. This year, Grassroots collected 500 different items weighing in at a total of 1,404 pounds (0.7 tons)!
Gabrielle Scullard, Grassroots President, Class of ’18, said “[Dump and Run is] a great way for incoming freshmen to get things they need and will use for the next four years. I personally have a laundry basket that I got from Stop N Shop (Grassroots’ fall event) as a first-year, and it’s really great to know that instead of taking landfill space, it served a purpose for four-plus years.”
These collections are thanks to the partnership of Planet Aid, Open Door Mission, IT Equipment Recovery, Sunnking, Grassroots, Residential Life and University Facilities and Services. Thank you also to all of the students that were generous enough to donate and recycle, exemplifying the spirit of “Meliora.”
Written by Teddi Shapiro, Class of 2019