Community efforts help to green student Move Out Week in Athens

April 18, 2016

Ohio University is partnering with the City of Athens and local nonprofits to provide on- and off-campus students with opportunities to donate and recycle items rather than trash them during Move Out Week from Monday, April 25 through Sunday, May 1.

More than 40 campus donation and recycling sites will be available for students to donate items. Every residence hall will have an indoor area to donate sealed and non-perishable food items, as well as outside areas designated for carpet/rugs, furniture and smaller donation items – all items that should not be thrown into dumpsters.

“We are proud to partner with committed community volunteers to divert literally tons of still useable items and see that they are redistributed to area individuals and families,” Andrew Ladd, manager of campus recycling and refuse at Ohio University, said.

In a cooperative effort facilitated by Rural Action and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, community partners including Second Harvest Southeast Ohio Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Reuse Industries, Goodwill, Mother Earth Community Thrift Store, New-to-You Shoppe, Athens County Fair Board, Golden Gate 4-H Club, Friends and Neighbors, Lutheran Social Services, and Kleinpenny Rentals are organizing Move Out efforts to keep usable items out of landfills. Several local thrift stores are providing on-demand pickup services of high quality reusable items before, during and after Move Out Week. Visit www.ohio.edu/recycle and click on the Move Out page for the contact information of these thrift stores.

The City of Athens will also play a large role in Move Out efforts for off-campus students, with more than 10 “Move Out Drop-Off” sites located throughout the city, including:

  • Family Dollar
  • Depot St.
  • Roller Bowl on Palmer St.
  • Historical Society on North Court St.
  • Passion Works on West State St.
  • Palmer Place
  • Fern St.
  • 175 Mill St.
  • Christ Lutheran Church on Mill St.
  • Bromley Hall
  • Convocation Center
  • Mother Earth Thrift Store on Shafer Street
  • Ridges Building 34
  • Fairgrounds

Drop-off locations are mapped at www.ce3.ohio.edu/15.  Sites will accept small working appliances, furniture, books, clothing, unopened food and other high-quality reusable goods from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1. City Code Director Rick Sirois worked with the University to support the off-campus efforts, including developing an online map of all drop-off sites.

In addition, community members launched Athens Move Out Recovery Effort (AMORE) to collect reusable goods from curbsides with tenants’ permission. Golden Gate 4-H and the Athens County Junior Fair Board will coordinate free giveaway events from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 3 at the Chauncey location of Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers just off Rt. 13 at 9009 Sand Ridge Road, as well as at the Athens County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, May 4. The giveaways are designed to help families and individuals in need and are open to all residents of Athens and surrounding counties.

“We hope to capture a lot of the material from the curb that doesn’t belong in a landfill and take it to local shops that give back to this community,” Sue Righi, a community member who is leading the AMORE effort, said.

Move Out efforts will continue after students leave campus. Landlords and maintenance staff cleaning out student apartments will be able to contact local thrift stores to donate goods. A household hazardous waste day will also be held on Saturday, April 23 at the Athens Community Center from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. People dropping off material must bring a utility bill to show proof of residency of the City of Athens.

Volunteers are integral to these efforts. Students and community members can register to volunteer at https://orgsync.com/116697/chapter.