Turn student discards into beneficial resources during move-out.
Piles of discards will be reused rather than going to the landfill when students move out of West Campus this summer thanks to a unique collaboration. The City of Austin has partnered with Keep Austin Beautiful, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, UT Sustainability Office and eight local reuse organizations to launch the first West Campus [Re]Move & [Re]Use initiative. This innovative effort aims to provide West Campus students with easy access to donation stations when students are moving out, which typically occurs at the end of July each year.
The endeavor serves as a long-needed solution to the heaps of student discards (gently-used futons, chairs, books, clothing, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, household items, etc.) that accumulate on West Campus curbsides, backstreets and parking lots every year as students rush to move out. [Re]Move & [Re]Use focuses on providing convenient donation stations staffed by local reuse organizations.
“I’m especially grateful to see our environmental sustainability efforts expanding into this area. This movement, to transform what could have become ‘trash’ into an opportunity to help others will certainly benefit the local community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo.
Reuse organizations and volunteers will collect items at three West Campus locations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 27 to July 31 and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on August 1.
Drop-off station locations include:
2102 Pearl St.
San Gabriel St. & Poplar St.
806 W. 24th St. (entrance off W. 25th St.)
Unwanted materials left outside during Move-Out often get wet, attract insects, generate mold and quickly become landfill trash. “Most students want to do the right thing, but in the rush and chaos of moving, a lot of things get thrown away or abandoned. We’re hoping to make it simple and convenient for students so that we can save usable materials from landfills, put them back to work in our community and have a cleaner, greener West Campus,” said Maddie Morgan, Austin Resource Recovery Planner III.
The idea started when Maddie Morgan was a student at UT, living in West Campus. Seeing the massive amounts of useful material left outside and later taken to landfills was disheartening. After graduation, Morgan started working for Austin Resource Recovery where she learned about the costs involved for apartments and the city to clean up and throw away items, and about the many Austin reuse organizations that could benefit from those same items if they were kept out of the dumpster.
In fall 2017, more than 200 community members and organizations provided input on the potential project. Since December, 40 dedicated individuals have been actively involved in the planning and implementation processes.
“Austin Resource Recovery is pleased to see so many organizations come together to tackle this problem. Innovative initiatives such as this one help us make progress toward our Zero Waste goal and build a circular economy locally,” said Sam Angoori, Austin Resource Recovery Interim Director.
Beginning July 27 through August 1 students can bring the following items to any of the three drop-off stations in West Campus during operating hours:
Gently used furniture, home goods and kitchen items
[Re]Use & [Re]Move is a collaboration of City of Austin Resource Recovery, Code, Public Works and Transportation Departments, along with University of Texas Office of Sustainability, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling and Keep Austin Beautiful.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701