14,105 Pounds of Donations Saved From Trash During Student Housing Move-Out

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Student Housing Services managed to gather more than 14,105 pounds of items for donation during the weekend of residence hall move-out at the end of spring 2017 semester.

Nicole Chatterson (right) and Eunice Yamada led student efforts to divert 45 mini-fridges from the landfill.

Students and staff juggled commencement and the end-of-semester move out rush to donate 9,554 pounds of clothes and 4,551 pounds of miscellaneous items to the Boys and Girls Club and the Kidney Foundation.

In addition to these items, the UH Office of Sustainability teamed up with the Surfrider UH Club to rescue 45 abandoned mini-fridges from the waste stream. These mini-fridges will be offered to incoming student residents in fall 2017.

“I never thought I’d be making the effort to recycling anything larger than plastic bottles until I realized refrigerators were being abandoned,” said Erika Peralta, Co-Chair of the Surfrider UH Club. “Not only did I consider the accumulation of waste, but I also thought about how we might help relieve some pressure on student budgets by facilitating the re-use of these mini-fridges.”

“While there is a lot of effort put into making move-out sustainable, it’s not yet a zero-waste system,” said David Akana, associate director of student housing services. “Residence hall dumpsters around this time of year are overflowing with quality, re-usable goods ranging from hydro-flasks, to fans, to kitchen utensils. We’re excited to partner with students to do even better with our waste diversion and reduction efforts next year.”

“Some of the waste reduction challenges faced in student housing, such as the need for outreach campaigns focused on waste minimization and system design, are experienced elsewhere on campus,” said Nicole Chatterson, UH Office of Sustainability student coordinator. “If we can pilot and refine effective systems with SHS, we will be better prepared to address systemic waste issues and move UH towards zero-waste practices.”

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