Campus recycling event benefits Easton community
By Katie Neitz
At the end of the semester, students often have furniture, clothes, and other items that they no longer want or, just simply, cannot fit in their cars or suitcases.
Green Move Out, a long-running initiative organized by the Office of Sustainability, has provided a solution that also benefits the community. As they move out of on- and off-campus housing, students are encouraged to donate items, which are then recirculated into the community, rather than ending up in a landfill.
In years past, the Office of Sustainability hosted a small sale of items on campus and distributed remaining goods to local nonprofits. This year, the Office of Sustainability partnered with the Landis Center for Community Engagement to organize a larger event directly in the community that would have greater impact.
The inaugural West Ward Sale, held at the Easton Area Community Center (EACC) June 9, gave local residents the opportunity to shop for a variety of items—furniture, clothing, household goods, school supplies, electronics—at a bargain price. Most items were priced at $1.
Students donated more than 20,000 pounds of goods, which were then sorted by volunteer students, faculty, staff, and community members in the days leading up to the sale.
“The event was a hit! There was a line down the block before the event began, which we were ecstatic to see given it was our first time in the location,” says Samantha Smith, sustainability outreach and engagement manager. “Several community members were so thrilled with the event that they came back with their friends and family after visiting the first time for a second time. Individuals thanked us for hosting the event. These are all great signs that the event was impactful and needed in the community.”
Chelsea Morrese, director of Landis Center for Community Engagement, agrees. “It was definitely the right decision to move the sale off campus and into the community. Landis supported the effort by helping to secure the site at EACC, recruiting campus and community volunteers, and by spreading the word to our community partner organizations so they could in turn spread it to the community members.”
Proceeds from the sale will fund campus-community sustainability initiatives, such as internships, scholarships, and educational programming that focus on issues of food sovereignty, environmental justice, regenerative ecosystems, and zero waste.
“The Office of Sustainability and Landis Center would like to extend a huge thank you to the volunteers who made the event possible,” Smith says. “Volunteers hailed from 27 different departments and associations and contributed over 500 volunteer hours to the effort.”