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Green Your Move Out helps college students clean up, recycle |

Thu June 5, 2014

USAgain's Green Your Move Out fundraising program proved recycling on college campuses is a win-win for reducing waste and helping students take home a lighter load.

Five universities together collected 26,890 pounds of clothing and shoes at USAgain bins located at the campuses as a part of “Green Your Move Out” program.  The initiative resulted in preventing 188,230 pounds of CO2 emissions and saved 37 million gallons of water from being wasted simply by depositing surplus clothing and shoes for reuse and recycling.  Here are the individual results for each institution: 

Emory University in Atlanta collected a total of 13,372 pounds of textiles from May 6 to May 15. USAgain stationed 72 rolling carts outside of dormitories, fraternities and sororities across the campus with carts being emptied at least twice a day during move out days. Five trucks were also provided to help students move out on parts of campus where rolling carts could not handle the volume of items collected. The program raised $437.57 in fundraising, which was donated to a local initiative for affordable housing, a nonprofit organization which helps homeless and low-income families in metro Atlanta obtain housing.

Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (SIUE) collected 5,360 pounds of textiles, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU) collected 2,323 pounds with USAgain's bins conveniently placed around campus. 
"Being the first year, we weren't sure how it would work," said Justin Schuch, Coordinator of Residential Leadership and Engagement at SIU. "But it worked out well, and it gave students a chance to put things to better use. Everybody should look at what they're wasting and what other people can get out of it."

California State University (CSU) students' collections summed up to 1,272 pounds of textiles.

Moody Bible Institute in Chicago collected a total of 4,563 pounds of textiles. 

"The fact that garments, shoes can be included and formulated into useful items is a big plus," said Oakley Smith, the custodial supervisor at Moody Bible School. "The positive influence on the environment was something we were generally aware of, but seeing the specific numbers was quite astounding."

There was also a positive outlook on why other universities should get involved in reusing and recycling programs for move outs and year around.

"Universities should provide more opportunities to not add to [textile] wastes," Schuch of SIU said. "And working with a company that focuses on giving back is something people should definitely explore. They know how to handle it."

USAgain offers short term recycling events and permanent recycling bin options for colleges and universities who want to be more active in the textile recycling process with customized fundraisers, such as this one. To participate, visit www.usagain.com

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that 12 million tons of textiles were sent to landfills in 2012. The goal of this program is to help students take action in waste reduction to create "green" campuses.  All textiles from the Green Your Move Out program will be reused or recycled depending on the quality of items.