Project Name 

Green Move Out

 

Location 

Lafayette College

 

Organizations involved in the project

The Office of Sustainability

 

Project Summary: 

 

Green Move Out was a massive undertaking. Collections were done in two waves. First, during finals week, donations were collected from the dorms via truck. Those donations were sorted and weighed in the gym arena. Community partners came to gym to collect these donations. After the seniors left for graduation, donations were gathered in the off-campus housing. The staff of the Office of Sustainability led this project, along with a student hired as the student coordinator.

 

What steps did your organization take to complete the project?

 

 First the sustainability office set dates for volunteering and collection. Then they distributed indoor and outdoor bins around the college. Big Brothers Big Sisters, in coordination with the college, placed 5 Large outdoor bins near locations where seniors were housed. Sets of bins were placed in all the dorms, in various key locations such as lobbies and common rooms. The first wave of collecting and sorting involved gathering the donations from the dorms.  After the first wave, boxes were distributed on off-campus housing, in coordination with the departure of the seniors. The second wave, which was done after the seniors left, involved collecting and sorting donations from the off campus housing.

 

What challenges did you face, and how were they addressed?

 

The donation effort needed to be well promoted, so students knew Green Move Out was going on. This was addressed by putting up posters in the dorms (in different spots than the boxes), chalking, making facebook events, and making school announcements. Another challenge was that the dorm collection coincided with finals week, so student volunteers were hard to come by. This was addressed by having school staff, other adults, and eco reps make up most of the volunteering body. Unfortunately, some stuff was left behind in the dorms or donated late. A lot of those leftover items were collected, to ensure they would not go to waste. Another challenge was that this, being the big undertaking that was, required careful organization so that no dorms were left behind. This was addressed through thorough record-keeping and strong communication within the sustainability office.

 

 

What impact has the project had on your campus and the community?

 

About 4,000 pounds of donations came from the dorm collection and recovery alone. This weight was carefully recorded and added by the Sustainability Office team. These donations went to groups like Safe Harbor, Third Street Alliance, and the Easton Community Center. Historically, Green Move Out, in it’s over 10 years of occurrence, has gathered around 10,000 pounds of donations annually.  However, only recently has this been very well measured. The total for this year’s collection is not in yet. But it’s predicted to be near the 10,000 figure from past years. Regardless of the exact figure of goods donated, the project has had a large impact on the campus and the local community. It will be done again next year and hopefully for many more years to come.