Eco Move Out aims to sustain success in second year

(Edmonton) There’s a sweet irony to the end of April on campus: as trees and flowers show signs of growth, the student population diminishes. But as undergraduate residences across all University of Alberta campuses slowly clear out, their inhabitants are part of a renaissance that gives new life to the furnishings and fixtures that adorned their temporary homes over the past year.

It’s called Eco Move Out. Now in its second year, this initiative is moving beyond the North Campus to include Augustana and Campus Saint-Jean residences as well, in an effort that allows students to demonstrate sound environmental stewardship by donating their couches, chairs, electronics and other goods to partner community organizations that will find them a loving second home.

It also keeps a sizable chunk of these recyclable materials out of local landfills.

“One of the things we discovered a couple of years ago is that there’s a lot of waste that happens when students are moving out of residence,” said Shannon Leblanc, sustainability co-ordinator and Eco Move Out lead. “They buy a lot of things (such as beds or desks) and then they move and leave a lot of it behind. There was no consistent way to get rid of these goods in a more sustainable way, and they were just putting it in the trash.”

Leblanc says last year’s event, which took place over a three-week period at the end of the semester, diverted 2,900 kg of goods from dumpsters. She is optimistic that even more can be saved from a needless demise this year.

The event, on now until May 3, accepts the following goods:

  • electronics
  • clothing
  • household goods
  • personal care and beauty product containers (e.g., mascara, toothpaste containers)
  • non-perishable food items (to be donated to the Campus Food Bank)