Program aims to give dorm students a greener moving-out experience
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When Tim Meek moves out of Mary Ward Hall this week, his blender, old jeans and numerous packs of lined-paper will not contribute to the county landfill.

Instead, they will be reused and recycled with the help of Goodwill and SF State's Sustainable Move-Out Program. In its third year, the program aims to top the 31,000 pounds of items donated in 2008.

"A lot of this stuff is brand new," said Meek, a 19-year-old humanities major. "I haven't used that blender once, so it would be a complete waste to throw it away."

Since its start on May 4, Goodwill has collected about 1,600 pounds of recyclable goods from campus housing.

"All these items, before, were just dumped in the hallways and housing custodial staff had to go in and clean it all up for weeks after," said Caitlin Steele, SF State's sustainability coordinator. "We are much more organized."

Last year the hallways were filled with discarded items, according to Ceasar Trejos, resident service assistant at Mary Ward Hall.

"It was pretty bad, there were rugs everywhere and a lot of lamps," said Trejos, a 20-year-old BECA major. "It got really bad to where people couldn't walk through at one point, it took up the whole hall."

The most common among discarded items are clothes, shoes and kitchen items, according to Steele.

The Goodwill placed boxes outside of campus housing facilities including Mary Park Hall, Mary Ward Hall, The Village, and the Science and Technology Themed Community on May 4 in hopes of gaining recognition before busy move-out dates. The Goodwill truck will be parked outside of the STTC from May 20-22 to collect discarded or donated items.

"Before, these items were not collected -- so we're diverting all of this from the landfill," stressed Steele.

The San Francisco Food Bank will also provide drop boxes located at the same locations to collect unwanted, non-perishable food.

Unlike years prior, students will not be able to shop around the discarded items and are urged to make trading arrangements prior to the move-out, according to Steele.

"It's easier for us to just have the bins ... because the bulk of it will take place on Friday afternoon, which is the craziest day for us."

"Students can organize their own clothing swaps if they want," said Steele.

Goodwill will not be accepting mattresses, futons, sofa beds, pillows or any large metal or wood furniture.

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