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This university has a great solution to all the piles of stuff students leave each year: 'We take almost anything'

A team of over 20 student volunteers stays after the end of the semester to gather up discarded items.

End of the Year Drive

Photo Credit: iStock

The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania is supporting the community and cutting down on waste with its annual End of the Year Drive.

University students need to move frequently, whether graduating, going home between semesters, or just switching to new housing. At the end of a semester, dorms and apartments explode with activity as students sort, pack, and move their belongings.

Oftentimes, a student's new housing situation or long-distance travel makes it difficult to take belongings with them. Even if each student only leaves a few items, that can add up to hundreds or thousands of pieces of clothing, furniture, and other belongings. 

Some college students have photographed piles of discarded materials in dorm hallways, waiting to clog dumpsters and landfills.

End Of The Year Drive

When the University of Scranton noticed this problem, it decided to put the unwanted items to better use with its End of the Year Drive, operated by the institution's Center For Service And Social Justice.

According to the University's website, a team of over 20 student volunteers stays after the end of the semester to gather up discarded items, sort them, and donate them to organizations throughout the area. Huge boxes are set up around campus where students can drop off belongings to donate.

Once items are collected and sorted, the program donates them to organizations, including Friends of the Poor, Community Invention Center, Leahy Family Center, and Safety Net.

This drive allows departing students to get rid of unwanted items easily, provides people in the community with free or low-cost goods, and minimizes the amount of junk going to local landfills. 

It even helps support participants. Volunteers are allowed to stay in campus housing and receive meals for free after the end of the term, while the program occasionally holds sales to fund student activities.

The program accepts a wide variety of goods, including food, clothing, shoes, kitchenware, small furniture and appliances, toiletries, and entertainment items like movies, games, and sports equipment. 

"We take almost anything, but we cannot accept large furniture and anything broken or dirty," says the site, adding that students should "donate items [they] would want to receive in a time of need."

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