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Professor stunned while dumpster-diving after student move-out week: 'Why didn't anyone tell me...?!'

"No shame in my dumpster diving game."

"No shame in my dumpster diving game."

Photo Credit: iStock

A UCLA professor was shocked to find out just how much college students can throw out at the end of the semester. 

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. 

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. 

Others added, "Man, I remember those days being on campus at those times, so many awesome finds," and, "I've had students score a flat-screen TV. It's insane."

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