Thu June 5, 2014
Green Your Move Out helps college students clean up, recycle
Recycling at four colleges saved 18.78 million gallons of water, prevented over 94K in CO2 emissions
USAgain’s Green Your Move Out fundraising program this spring proved recycling on college campuses is a win-win for reducing waste and helping students take home a lighter load.
Four universities helped prevent 94,626 pounds of CO2 emissions and saved 18.78 million gallons of water simply from donating their unwanted clothing and shoes to USAgain.
Moody Bible School collected a total of 4,563 pounds.
“The fact that torn garments, etc., can be included and formulated into useful items is a big plus,” said Oakley Smith, the custodial supervisor at Moody Bible School. “The positive influence on the environment was something we were generally aware of, but seeing the specific numbers was quite astounding.”
Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville (SIUE) gathered 5,360 pounds worth of textiles, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU) collected 2,323 pounds with USAgain’s bins conveniently placed around campus.
After hearing about the success of textile recycling from its sister university SIUE the previous year, 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.”
California State University in San Marcos, Calif., (CSUSM) students’ collections summed up to 1,272 pounds of textiles.
Both SIU and Moody Bible School participants saw the importance of being able to clean out old clothes and shoes and give back at the same time. Having USAgain bins at convenient locations around campus made it even easier to do so.
“Most of the students and staff at Moody are eager and pleased to [deposit] unneeded clothing for reuse, and USAgain provides an easy resource,” Smith continued. “The turnout and participation were very good. It seemed that the women were a little more likely to participate.”
There was also a positive outlook on why other universities should get involved in reusing and recycling unwanted clothing and shoes.
“Universities should provide more opportunities to not add to [textile] wastes,” Schuch continued. “And working with a company that focuses on giving back is something people should definitely explore. They know how to handle it.”
USAgain offers daily, weekly and monthly options for colleges and universities who want to be more active in the textile recycling process with customized fundraisers, such as this one.
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.
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.