Wash. U. Collects Excess Stuff for Charity During Moveout

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Don't throw them out. Give them to charity!
As any seasoned Dumpster-diver can tell you, college students are notorious for chucking an awful lot of good stuff when they go home for the summer. An environmental group at Washington University hopes to intervene, getting useful goods that might otherwise be landfilled into the hands of worthy charities.

The group, Share Our Stuff, is setting up drop-off locations both on- and off-campus for the stuff that just won't fit in the back of Mom's station wagon.

"It's really incredible the things we see kids throwing out," says Daniel Bentle, communication coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. The program has taken into account complaints and concerns from residents, who tire of see heaped Dumpsters this time of year.

"Of course, our allegiance lies a little bit more with the environment," says Bentle. "We're selling this from the standpoint of protecting the environment first and foremost. It was a huge amount of useful goods going into landfills."

He says that students have trashed video gaming systems, nearly new clothing and gently used furniture. The program is in its third year, and this is the first year that they'll be measuring the exact tonnage carted out, with logistical support from University City.

Donated goods will go to MERS Goodwill, a locally based nonprofit that helps disabled and disadvantaged people find jobs; food bank Operation Food Search; the Ronald McDonald House, which houses families who are in St. Louis seeking medical care for seriously sick kids; and the Campus Y, a student community-service organization.

They're looking for clean, undamaged furniture, clothing, books, school and office supplies, and unopened food and personal care items. (Meaning, yes, they'll take that pallet of Top Ramen noodles you never actually broke into.) They'll take donations from students and community members alike.

Students may drop off items at the South 40 and Village residence halls between May 2 and May 19. Off-campus, drop things at 725 Kingsland Avenue, 6188 McPherson Avenue or 6654 Washington Avenue between May 3 and August 8 any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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