Students moving out can leave their unwanted furniture and houseware at donation stations across West Campus with the help of an organization working toward zero waste.
MoveOutATX is implementing donation stations across West Campus for the second year to limit the number of items left on curbs or near dumpsters when students move out. The organization is a collaboration between many local groups, including Austin Resource Recovery and UT’s Office of Sustainability.
The unwanted items that students donate will go to organizations such as Austin Creative Reuse and Central Texas Food Bank. In return, participants will receive a “Perk” sticker that is redeemable for discounts at 25 local eateries and retailers.
“This is really beneficial all around because you are keeping the streets safe and clean, it helps students and parents when moving out, and it also helps families in Austin that can really use these items,” said Susanne Harm, an Austin Resource Recovery public information specialist.
In an effort to make the stations more accessible to students, eight of the 10 drop-off locations are located in West Campus. Harm said it took a lot of planning with different people to make these donation stations possible.
“This year we know what works and what doesn’t work,” Harm said. “This is really about pulling all of these different groups into one team and making it so this process can be duplicated in other colleges and in other cities.”
Brianna Duran, campus environmental center coordinator for the UT Office of Sustainability, said it was important for the office to get involved because they want to teach students the importance of donating instead of trashing.
“During move out, students are throwing away so much all at once, and it overflows dumpsters and sidewalks,” Duran said. “Getting involved with MoveOutATX is something we believe is important for students to try to be better community members.”
UT alumna Allie Runas (2019), who founded the West Campus Neighborhood Association to advocate for West Campus residents, said she helped spread the word about MoveOutATX.
“This project not only helps clean up West Campus but also makes a real impact on those who live in Austin,” Runas said. “(There’s) always a huge problem with move out and how much stuff people leave behind. It makes West Campus feel gross and not a great reflection on the people that live here.”
The donation stations are scheduled to continue through July 31, and Harm said MoveOutATX hopes to extend its services into Riverside to benefit more students.
“We are hoping we can get a lot of stuff delivered to each of the donation stations and that we are so busy we can’t handle it,” Harm said.
Originally published July 25, 2019 in The Daily Texan
By Natalie Venegas
Illustration by Raquel Higine