More than 100 volunteers are needed to help collect, weigh, sort, store and sell items for the second annual Goodbye, Goodbuy! recycling and sustainability effort, where Rochester Institute of Technology students moving out can donate items to be sold at discounted prices to incoming students rather than throwing them out.
Collection begins Monday and continues through Sunday; the sale for incoming students and staff will be held during orientation week, Aug. 16-20 in Clark Gym.
Training sessions are scheduled tonight and Saturday for volunteers, who are especially needed later in the week as more students move and fewer volunteers tend to be available to help. That’s one thing learned during the first Goodbye, Goodbuy! effort last year.
“We thought people wouldn’t participate as much as they did, so we ran out of storage space and volunteers,” said this year’s Goodbye, Goodbuy! program manager, Evan Zachary, a third-year environmental sustainability, health, and safety major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
There are benefits to volunteering: not only do you help a great cause, you get a free T-shirt and can shop at the sale a day before anyone else.
Last year, 131 students, faculty, staff and administrators helped in the effort. This year, the program has 12 paid staff members. Six tractor-trailers will be storing collected items in B Lot during the summer, and three box trucks and five golf carts will be used to help transport items to and from the processing hubs.
The team is gearing up to accept donations which will include small appliances, furniture, clothing, toiletries—just about everything you can imagine in a college dorm room.
“We can’t take things students shouldn’t have in the first place, such as weapons or paraphernalia,” Zachary said. “And we’re not interested in unlabeled liquids or powder. Or underwear.”
Donation areas will be marked on every dorm floor and near dumpsters on campus apartment complexes. Those living in off-campus housing including Park Point who would like to participate can drop items off at Perkins Green or Colony Manor.
Items will be sorted into two categories: food, toiletries and clothing, or “everything else.” Donors are encouraged to separate their items into those categories, Zachary said.
RIT is one of the largest colleges to undertake such a recycling program.
Last year, boxes of binders and other school supplies were donated to an elementary school in Rochester, and toiletries and nonperishable food were donated to local nonprofit organizations.
The program also saved RIT the cost of paying for dumpsters to be emptied.
“Our primary goal is to divert waste,” Zachary said. Saving students money, having the program pay for itself and getting students thinking about sustainability are all benefits of the program.