The practice is a common one, unfortunately. Many students who are graduating or moving may not have a way to transport all their furniture — or simply don’t need it anymore — and throw it out or leave it on curbs for others to take.
Dr. Desi Small-Rodriguez, a professor of sociology and American Indian studies at UCLA, couldn’t believe it. “Why didn’t anyone tell me about move-out week treasure hunting?” she asked in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a photo of the refrigerator she picked up.
Yo!! Students toss out good stuff! So much waste ugh but also why didn’t anyone tell me about move-out week treasure hunting?! No shame in my dumpster diving game. I grew up on the rez where everything has at least 9 lives. Look at this cute little fridge we scored 🙂 pic.twitter.com/lYZoJxhbZF— Dr. Dr. Desi (she/her) (@native4data) June 9, 2022
The professor also commented on how much of it was in good shape and didn’t need to be thrown out. “So much waste ugh,” she wrote. “No shame in my dumpster diving game. I grew up on the [reservation] where everything has at least 9 lives.”
Many others feel similarly, keeping a special watch for their local university’s move-out day and an eye out for items left on the curb when they know student leases will be up.
Some universities have even implemented a recycling system so the discarded items can go to other students or community members. At the University of Scranton, around 20 students volunteer to collect leftover items. They sort and box them up and then give them to donation centers so others can have access to high-quality items at a lower price.
Buying or “dumpster diving” for secondhand items is never a bad move. But when you take into account that most college students have only used their supplies for a few years, it makes the deal even better — and it keeps the extra waste out of landfills, which already receive nearly 300 million tons of trash per year.
Comments on the post revealed a similar sentiment toward discarded goods from college students.
“Sometimes I was able to stay on campus after move out day, and that was the best! Got a head start on shopping for the next academic year,” reminisced one user.
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