It’s that time of year again. Couches are placed on sidewalks and perfectly good appliances are thrown into the trash. This annual ritual is part of the mass exodus that occurs across the nation as college students move out of apartments and student housing.
The University of Virginia offers another option, one that benefits the local community: Chuck It for Charity.
Chuck It for Charity, which started in 1999, kicks off May 5 and continues through May 24. The program provides the opportunity for students to donate items that include unwanted furniture, appliances, non-perishable food and clothing to local charities.
Over the years students have donated eclectic items that include an aquarium (the fish had already been given to a friend), trading cards, vintage shop signs and a set of gardening tools. It’s also not unusual to see full living room sets, dining room tables, mini-fridges and colorful coffee tables in the collection pile.
Between 2013 and 2015, the goods donated by students tripled from 8,842 pounds to 26,240 pounds. The program’s recent success has encouraged off-Grounds property managers to open three new collection sites this year.
The collection drive is offered to students living on and off Grounds, with drop-off sites set up during final exams. UVA Recycling will collect usable donated items daily from each drop-off site and haul them to the Student Activities Building, where local non-profits that include Shelter for Help in Emergency, Loaves and Fishes, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army will collect them. In addition, UVA Recycling offers students free cardboard boxes to use during move-out, available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UVA Recycling Warehouse, located at the end of Leake Drive.
“Chuck it for Charity is a great example of sustainability in action and ensures students can leave at the end of the year knowing their donations are making a difference,” UVA Sustainability Outreach and Engagement Manager Nina Morris said. “By diverting into the local community gently used goods that would normally end up in a landfill, the program not only helps UVA reach its waste minimization goals, but provides resources to UVA’s community partners.”
Additionally, UVA’s Surplus Property Department will offer free “E-cycling,” allowing faculty, staff and students to dispose of personal electronic equipment at the Student Activities Building from May 5 to 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Disposal includes certified secure destruction of all resident data from eCycleSecure, the University’s provider of electronic recycling service for University-owned equipment. eCycleSecure will collect computers and computer equipment that includes LCD monitors, laptops, tablets, printers, copiers and phones. Television sets and CRT monitors will not be accepted.
For the complete list of Chuck It for Charity pick-up points, go to sustainability.virginia.edu.