top of page

Reducing Campus Waste for the Mass Exodus in May

Megan Franzino | Contributing Writer

May is steadily approaching which means that students will be exiting their dorms to return home for the summer months or indefinitely. Unfortunately, this mass exodus by college students at the end of the spring semester typically results in large quantities of unwanted items filling dumpsters and eventually landfills. Some of the items left behind by students leaving their dorms include appliances, furniture, and clothing (Buzbee). Essentially, students dump perfectly good coffee makers, couches, and jackets that can easily be resold, reused, or donated. Almost ten years ago, Planet Aid made the claim that the average student makes approximately 640 pounds of trash in a year (Curbing the College…): the equivalent of a male grizzly bear. The University of Montana estimates that students generate approximately 2, 200 tons of waste annually (Broom 1). Most items that are thrown away could easily be reused instead of contributing to landfills.

Thankfully, several college campuses have already taken the initiative to reduce waste generated by students’ moving out of their dorms. One being Virginia Tech who works with the local YMCA to ensure that a large number of items are diverted from the landfill to the community (Mallory 1). Princeton has their own “Greening Move-Out” program to manage unwanted items (Hannan). Additionally, the University of Montana’s Office of Sustainability

began their Campus Thrift in response to the large quantities of waste generated at the end of the year. The proceeds from the thrift sale benefits both the Office of Sustainability and Renter’s Center (Broom 1). These college and universities are taking a proactive approach to reducing their campus waste and creating a more sustainable culture.

I believe that it is critical for Eastern’s students to continue the “Warriors Don’t Waste” day started by Jacob Sweeney in 2023 as a way to maintain sustainability and reduce waste. Sweeney’s “Warriors Don’t Waste” day donated over 2,000 pounds of items at the end of the semester to nonprofits such as the Covenant Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, and the No Freeze Shelter (Weiss). We should continue Sweeney’s project now more than ever with our “Thrift Warriors” thrift shop that opened in February of this year.

With the spring semester rapidly coming to an end, let’s carry on the tradition of sustainability at Eastern. Let’s all work together to carry Sweeney’s torch and continue the “Warriors Don’t Waste” day to ensure a better future for our community.


bottom of page