Green Your Move Out helps college students give back, recycle

Tue June 3, 2014

Green Your Move Out helps college students give back, recycle

Recycling at SIUE, SIU saved 7.5 million gallons of water, prevented over 37,000 in CO2 emissions

USAgain’s Green Your Move Out fundraising program proved recycling on college campuses is a win-win for reducing waste and helping students take home a lighter load. Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (SIUE) and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU) collected a total of 7,683 pounds of unwanted clothes and shoes this spring through USAgain’s bins conveniently placed around campus.

Both universities’ students can pat themselves on the back for helping to avoid textile wastes large enough to fill 1.5 garbage trucks.

Separately SIUE students, who partnered for a second year with USAgain, gathered 5,360 pounds worth of textiles, and SIU collected 2,323 pounds with USAgain’s recycling bins during the Green Your Move Out program this May.

SIUE’s Student Move Out program began on Sat., May 3, and USAgain bins were available on campus until Mon., April 28. SIUE’s textile recycling efforts prevented 37,520 pounds of CO2 emissions and helped save 7.5 million gallons of water.

After hearing about the success of textile recycling from its sister university, SIU made the decision to get involved, too.

“Being the first year, we weren’t sure how it would work,” said Justin Schuch, Coordinator of Residential Leadership and Engagement at SIU. “But it worked out well, and it gave people a chance to put things to better use. Everybody should look at what they’re wasting, and what other people can get out of it.”

SIUC’s Student Move Out program began on Thurs., May 1, with eight USAgain bins placed at four resident halls. SIU recycling efforts helped prevent 16,261 pounds of CO2 emissions and saved 3.2 million gallons of water.

“There was great implementation to get stuff off campus, and that was super important to us so we could move forward to summer,” Schuch continued. “Universities should provide more opportunities to not add to [textile] wastes. And working with a company that focuses on giving back is something people should definitely explore. They know how to handle it.”

USAgain’s CEO can attest to this.

“Fast fashion is a big deal on college campuses,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “And with clothing and shoes going in and out of style so quickly, it’s a pretty big deal to have universities get involved in textile recycling. We appreciate how students came together to help give a ‘new’ life to clothing while helping curb waste.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that 12 million tons of textiles were sent to landfills in 2012. The goal of this program is to help students take action in waste reduction to create "green" campuses.  All textiles from the Green Your Move Out program will be reused or recycled depending on the quality of items.

About USAgain

USAgain — a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, Illinois — is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of surplus clothing, which is diverted from landfills. In 2013, USAgain was awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. It maintains more than 14,000 recycling bins in 19 states.