13th annual Move-Out Cleanout results

Move-Out Cleanout, the ever-popular student donation program, returned for its thirteenth year, collecting over 21,000 pounds of items. Moving out at the end of the academic year, sometimes for good, can be a monumental task for students, with many looking for ways to offload unwanted items.

Move-Out Cleanout provides students with the opportunity to donate clothing, shoes, electronics, nonperishable food, and unused hygiene items. The program was put on pause in 2020 and downscaled in 2021 due to the pandemic, but returned in full form last year. This year, 21,284 pounds (about 12 tons) of items were donated, all to benefit the local Rochester community. Move-Out Cleanout is hosted by University Facilities and Services in partnership with Residential Life, the Food Pantry, Mt. Hope Family Center, Open Door Mission, and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes.


Students were able to donate unopened, non-perishable food via containers in the main entryway of every residence hall. The Open Door Mission, a local Rochester organization, and the University’s Food Pantry, which serves all University students and postdocs, collected 2,688 pounds (1.3 tons) of food, with the Food Pantry receiving 2,079 pounds alone.


Organization Spotlight: Open Door Mission

This year, Director of Emergency Services Jeremy Hinz offered to take Sustainability Office staff on a tour of their locations so that they could learn more about the organization. Open Door Mission has four locations in downtown Rochester and provides meals, housing, clothing, drug rehabilitation programs, and other services to those in need, all 100% free of charge. In addition to providing around 200 meals a day, Open Door Mission has a food pantry that provides emergency food boxes, often multiple times a day to different families, providing them with 60-70 pounds of food. “This current supply will be gone by July,” Hinz noted as he showed the stocked pantry (pictured top). “Everybody does food drives in the fall in preparation for Thanksgiving and summer is the lowest donation time. You guys [the University] are one of the few that donate food pantry items this time of year.”

Open Door Mission was also the recipient of approximately 150 past event t-shirts from the Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center. These were available at their clothing store where community members can make appointments to “shop” for items, all for free. However, by the time the sustainability staff toured the facility, the shirts were all already gone. According to Hinz, they receive an astonishing 10,000 pounds of clothing and shoes per week and average about 150 people a month making clothing store appointments.

Hygiene Items

The Food Pantry and  Mount Hope Family Center, also a part of the University of Rochester, collected new toiletries from students. Of the 84 pounds of hygiene items collected, 36 pounds were donated to Mount Hope Family center for its Hope Chest to benefit children and families, while the Food Pantry collected a total of 48 pounds for the use of students in need.

Clothing & Shoes

This year,  the University started a new partnership with Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, who has diverted 24 million pounds of items from landfills and included sustainability as a part of  its new strategic plan . Students kept donation levels high this year, with a total of 21,532 pounds (10.8) tons of clothing and shoes donated.


Every year, around 1,000 pounds of electronics are donated during Move-Out Cleanout, which are collected and recycled by Sunnking, the partner for E-Cycle Day in the fall. Students can recycle electronics year-round by dropping off data storing devices at the IT Store and other electronic items at the Sage and Gale loading docks.

Dump & Run

Grassroots, the University’s largest environmental action and awareness student group, held its annual Dump & Run collection program on Friday, May 5 and Sunday, May 14. This year they collected mirrors, shelving units, mini fridges, and microwaves. Each year Grassroots and Facilities Team Green work together to plan and promote their move-out collection programs.


Written by Sarah Woodams ‘24(T5)

Photos by Sarah Woodams


Top Image: Jeremy Hinz poses with Sustainability Manager Amy Kadrie as he shows her the Open Door Mission’s food pantry, where items from Move-out Cleanout have been donated.