OSU aims for zero waste during student move-out

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It is move-out day for students at the Ohio State University.

In the past, as vehicles were loaded up, mountains of discarded items were left behind or thrown in the trash. Now student-led groups have a plan to keep those items out of the landfill.

Tom Reeves head of the Energy Management and Sustainability for OSU said students were able to divert 6 tons of items away from the landfill by using reduce, reuse and recycling.

“We collect everything from students moving out in the spring, we sort it throughout the summer,” said Elizabeth Sturges, President of the OSU group Students for Recycling.

When students move back in for the fall semester they can buy used items and the money goes to good causes.

“Everything is very cheap and we sell as much to students as possible and we donate to several different charities,” said Sturges. Like the food bank, Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries.

Like the Goodwill Donation Center a half mile north of campus, helping those in need. Spokesperson Jane Carroll said they get a lot of students who bring items to their donation center year around.

“That can be anyone from New Americans, people with an intellectual or physical disability, veterans, youth underserved groups, that are the whole point of Goodwill Columbus,” said Carroll. She said they get a lot of Buckeye gear, shoes and electronic gear which all sell quickly.

Students said they love the idea, calling it a win-win.

“I think it is absolutely amazing because I am all about sustainability, just having all these good items that are probably pretty new for freshmen like me, and to throw it away, we should repurpose it,” said Ezequiel Herrera.

Brendan Kirby dropped off used carpeting at the lobby ‘dump and run’ area.

“It wasn’t in the best of shape, but in good enough shape someone could use it, thought I would turn it in and help someone less fortunate than me,” said Sophomore Kirby.

OSU has a sustainability goal zero waste by 2025, hoping to divert 90 percent of their waste from ending up in a landfill.

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