Students donated a total of 53,000 pounds of goods during this year’s May move-out period to local charities and nonprofit organizations, setting a record for the most items donated in the University’s Green Move-Out in its nearly 10 years of operation, according to a University release.
Student volunteers spent 472 hours sorting through 45,000 pounds of clothing, 6,000 pounds of household items and 2,100 pounds of food before sending the donations off to partnered organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Bread for the City, Green Lot and Love and Light among other charities, the release states. The donated and repurposed goods – including items such as storage organizers, dried pasta and printers – prevented 11 truckloads of goods from ending up in landfills and saved more than $17,000 in disposal and labor fees.
Volunteers ultimately filled about 1,800 bags of clothing, 115 cartloads of household goods and 700 grocery bags of food.
The University debuted the annual Green Move-Out program, which is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, in 2014 in an effort to make student move-out more environmentally friendly and to encourage students to donate their discarded items instead of tossing them in the trash.
Kimberly Williams – the stakeholder engagement associate for the Office of Sustainability – said the purpose of Green Move-Out is to enforce the sustainability of goods, not just the sustainability of the environment.
“Sustainability is not just about the environment,” Williams said in a GW Today article. “It’s also about the economy and equity, and this program represents that. Instead of using a shower caddy, mirror or other item for only a year and then throwing it in the trash, our students give things new life by donating.”