Ohio Wesleyan University has announced that its recent “May Move Out” program was able to recycle 9.5 tons (or 19,000 pounds) of reusable materials for Goodwill Industries.
The idea behind May Move Out is that when students move out of their campus residences, they donate their unwanted appliances, clothes, furniture and other goods so Goodwill can resell them, diverting those reusable items from being put into a landfill.
Among the items donated were 45 mini-refrigerators, 27 storage containers, 18 rugs, 14 office chairs, 13 futons and 12 bins of textiles.
“This is a really great way to minimize the number of things you move, especially when you’re a graduating senior and you don’t live in the area,” said university spokesman Cole Hatcher. “This was a win-win for everybody.”
OWU received a $10,000 grant from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Solid Waste District to collaborate with Goodwill Industries on the May Move Out.
“This grant is important because, in addition to significant waste diversion, it includes an educational component to help the campus better understand the consequence of the waste it generates and to anticipate, plan, and reduce its waste impact,” said Peter Schantz, OWU’s director of plant operations, in a statement. “Everyone involved is excited to help contribute to a culture of sustainability.”
With the grant, the university’s Sustainability Task Force rented nine portable storage containers and placed them outside residential halls when the students moved out. Once they were filled, the containers were moved to a Goodwill collection center, where the items were sorted out and prepared for resale.
“Our Goodwill partners were very happy with the effort, as were OWU’s Buildings and Grounds and Residential Life staff,” said John Krygier, an OWU professor and Sustainability Task Force member, in a statement. “In other words, we have a model that can, with some tweaks, work in the future.”
May Move Out was launched in 2012 by student Sarah D’Alexander, class of 2013.
“May Move Out shows the power of working together for the common good,” said Hatcher. “With support from DKMM and Goodwill, Ohio Wesleyan students are able to reduce the waste stream and help others at the same time. We think this was a great success and hope to build upon it in the future.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.