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Sustainable Move-out Tips for Students

                Moving out of dorms and apartments to head home for the summer after a stressful Spring Semester can be a bittersweet time. The pressures of school finally subside, but now it is time to get to work tossing out what you no longer need, packing boxes, and loading up the family car. Rather than throwing out unused food, old electronics, or worn down futons, donate and recycle these items. These items can service individuals and families in the local Athens community.

                The cans of soup that were not eaten all semester should not be thrown into a dumpster. All of the nonperishable food items that are left behind while packing should be donated. This helps families in need and also decreases the amount of food that is being dumped into landfills. Indoor and outdoor sites will be set up at the residential halls about two weeks prior to Move-Out Day, which will be May 2.

                Moving out of an apartment can make sustainability seem out of reach without the donation sites set up right outside of the front door. Fortunately, there are donation areas located in multiple neighborhoods. Drop-off locations will be located on High and West State Streets, North Court and State Streets, North Congress and Washington Streets, Mill Street, and Union Street. These sites will be available a few days before the last day of finals through the Sunday after Move-Out Day.

Some organizations in Athens County will arrive on request to pick up donations as well. Non-profit organizations such as New-To-You, Goodwill, Athens County Fair Board, Athens County Food Pantry, and Golden Gaits 4-H Club are all listed at http://www.ohio.edu/facilities/recycle/documents/Move_Out_FAQ.pdf as places that will travel to the location of those who have donations.

It may seem difficult to figure out what to do with old carpets, rugs, and furniture. Although it may seem logical to toss these items into the dumpster, it is not a sustainable practice. There will be designated areas outside of residence halls to leave furniture. Carpet can be left off to the side of the dumpsters. These sites will be available two weeks before Move-Out Day. When students leave carpet and rugs in the donation sites, thousands of pounds of these items are recycled to a carpet cylinder, which is located in Columbus. Donating carpet and furniture keeps these large items out of landfills.

Electronic waste still has value. Old cell phones, ink cartridges, CDs, DVDs, and batteries can be recycled in collection cabinets. These cabinets are located in Baker Center, computer labs, and entrances to dining halls. Larger items such as cameras, computers, laptops, monitors, and printers can be recycled by emailing [email protected] or by calling (740) 593-0231.

The notes, papers, and exams that are often tossed into the trash without a second thought are also recyclable. There are recycling bins located near the dumpsters on campus. There are bins for paper, cardboard, and plastic, so most of the waste generated on campus can be reused or recycled. Ohio University actually aims for 80% of waste to be recycled.

There are numerous reasons that moving out of dorms and apartments should be done in a sustainable way. Recycling waste items can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposal costs. Organizing waste into different recyclable categories leaves campus less cluttered during the end of the semester. Sustainable moving also reduces pollution, which can turn the beautiful campus into an ugly dumpster. Recycling and donating unwanted items also helps local families, who will be able to use these items for years to come.

Have a great move-out day and summer, Bobcats!

Paige is a student studying Journalism, Social Media, and Women's Studies at Ohio University. She is actively involved with Her Campus Ohio U and Thread Magazine. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @paige__rochelle (two underscores!)
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