The end of ISU’s semester is here, and that means thousands of students will soon be leaving Normal. However, they won’t be taking all of their belongings with them. Each spring, thousands of pounds of perfectly usable household items, clothes, shoes and non-perishable food are discarded in the wake of this exodus. Most of these items end up in the landfill, where they will remain forever. What can be done about this waste?
A partnership of the Ecology Action Center, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Recycling Furniture for Families and ISU’s Student and Community Outreach and Sustainability units has formulated a plan and set up a website in an attempt to divert as much as is possible from being discarded. The website, ISUmoveout.org, allows for students to schedule of pick of accepted items. In addition, Home Sweet Home Ministries has located clothing and shoe collection bins at three locations:
- First United Methodist Church, 211 N. School St
- The Edge Apartments, 800 W. Hovey
- Class Act, 808 S. Linden
The Ecology Action Center helps the community solve environmental challenges year-round. While the EAC does not actually accept any materials directly, staff members routinely advise people about how to dispose of everything from electronics to paint. Home Sweet Home Ministries provides resources for homeless and hungry people in our community, and operates the Mission Mart. Recycling Furniture for Families works with a network of social service agencies to help people break out of homelessness by providing furniture and other household items.
Students living in ISU Residence Halls may utilize drop off bins located in the lobbies of each building; these items will be collected and repurposed by the Bloomington Housing Authority.
- Furniture in good condition
- Electronics and small appliances (working or non-working)
- Canned goods and other nonperishable unopened foods
- Gently used clothing, shoes, sheets, towels
Items donated by students will help these organizations fulfill their missions and keep items out of the landfill at the same time. The ISU Move Out Donations Initiative will run May 2nd through May 12th.
In addition to donating items to non-profits, students should also remember regular recycling during move out time. Recycling receptacles for paper, cardboard, metal, glass and plastic are abundant on the ISU campus. Town of Normal roll-off bins for these materials are located near the ISU campus at Chiddix Junior High (near Anderson Pool), ISU parking lot at 100 N University, Normal Tax Assessor’s Office (304 E Mulberry), and University Center (1101 N Main).
In addition to just being the right thing to do, keeping materials out of the landfill is also the law in some cases. As of January 1, 2012, it became illegal to dispose of most consumer electronic devices in an Illinois landfill. Electronic devices, including cell phones, computers, televisions, game systems and ALL the peripheral equipment and accessories must be recycled through a licensed company. Students can be sure that items donated to organizations through this initiative will be handled properly.
Organizers hope students will embrace this opportunity to dispose of their possessions in a responsible manner, divert thousands of pounds of waste from the landfill, and assist local charitable organizations all by supporting this effort. ISUmoveout.org is the central location for move out resources.
The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment. The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in Bloomington, Normal, and McLean County.