In May, the University of Virginia’s “Hoos ReUse” campaign provided an opportunity for community and sustainability-minded students to donate possessions that would have otherwise ended up in the trash as they vacated their living quarters for summer.
The result? Student giving increased by 40 percent to almost 37,000 pounds of donated goods, compared to 26,000 pounds in 2016. Donated items included clothes, non-perishable food, furniture, refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, carpets and household items.
Improvements this year included increasing off-Grounds donation locations, providing an on-Grounds donation tent and moving on- and off-Grounds locations to more convenient drop site locations. In addition to having a staffed tent the last three days of final exams on the quad at the McCormick Road dormitories, UVA also increased the number of Goodwill donation boxes (called “EDGARs”) resulting in more opportunities for students to donate items.
Over the past four years, Hoos ReUse has diverted more than 100,000 pounds of usable goods from landfills and back to community members who will put them to good use – all while working to protect the environment.
This year, UVA partnered with local nonprofit organizations that included The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA.
“The success of the Hoos ReUse program lies in the collaboration and passion of many departments, students and community groups,” said Nina Morris, outreach and engagement manager for UVA’s Office of Sustainability. “Although the move-out donation drive has happened at UVA for more than a decade, each year we find new opportunities to divert gently used materials away from landfills and support our community.”