Trash to Treasure: Make Your Move-Out Sustainable!

BY: LOUIS SPANIAS, Sustainability Program Manager

Think about everything in your dorm room – your furniture, your clothes, your appliances…In just under a couple of weeks, you will have to move all of that stuff out.

Move-Out Boxes

Image Source: Flickr

Move-out is a particularly stressful event for college students, most of whom realize that they just can’t keep everything. This is why students across the country throw away thousands of tons of stuff during move-out, most of which is reusable! Imagine how many couches, electronic appliances, and clothes are just thrown away that could otherwise be used and worn! This not only presents a huge strain for custodial and facilities workers who have to find a way to dispose of those items, but it is also incredibly wasteful.

However, this problem is easily avoided. There are a number of ways to prevent perfectly usable items from going to waste, and it starts with you. To kick off our May theme of “re-use,” we have prepared a list of options you have to make sure your move-out is sustainable and stress-free.

Make Your Move-Out Sustainable:

  • Sell your items on Craigslist or on Facebook – It’s easy to find someone who will buy your unwanted items. The 5Cs have a “5C For Sale/For Free” page where many students can sell individual items or post a slideshow of lots of items. Not only will you get rid of your unwanted goods, but you’ll also make a bit of money!
  • Leave your items out for free – Put small unwanted items outside of your dorm room next to a sign saying “FREE” – you’ll be surprised by how quickly everything goes!
  • Donate your clothes to Goodwill / thrift stores, or place them in a donation bin – there is a donation bin on the Harvey Mudd Campus for all clothing!
  • Donate to Pomona’s Clean Sweep / ReCoop or Pitzer’s Re-Room – Both Pomona and Pitzer have donation programs, which accept most items including furniture, microwaves/fridges, school/office supplies, clothing, laundry/cleaning products, and more. These items are then sold to students at the beginning of next year!
  • Properly dispose of other waste – For any true trash, make sure you properly sort anything you don’t want into trash, recyclables, and e-waste, and dispose of them in the proper receptacles available on campus. F&M will place large waste and recycling dumpster bins near the dorms for use.

As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is the next man’s treasure.” Donate or sell your items instead of throwing them away, and you’ll not only help protect the environment, but you’ll make your move-out that much easier.

Best of luck with your finals and projects, and have a pleasant and sustainable move-out!