Goodbye, Goodbuy! sustainability effort returns to RIT
Donations and volunteers needed as students move out next week
After a year off due to the pandemic, the popular Goodbye, Goodbuy! sustainability program returns this week at Rochester Institute of Technology. Students moving out of their housing on campus are urged to donate their unwanted items rather than throw them away.
Items that would otherwise be discarded are being collected, sorted, and cleaned and will be offered for sale at thrift store prices to new and returning students next semester.
“We’re excited to be back,” said Lukas Wiedemann, Goodbye, Goodbuy!’s program director. “It is an honor to be working on such a beloved program that manages to help so many members of the RIT community and prevent so much landfill waste every year. It is an important reminder of the importance of reusing things before we get rid of them, and that even when we don’t have a use for something anymore, someone else still could.”
In the five previous Goodbye, Goodbuy! efforts, more than 100 tons of items have been saved from landfills, and more than $100,000 has been raised in sales which supports the program by paying student salaries, rental costs, and other expenses. The program also has saved RIT thousands of dollars in trash removal costs.
In previous years, items collected included clothing, furniture, appliances, lamps, bedding, kitchenware, even computer equipment. Unopened food was collected and offered to RIT FoodShare. Only unmarked liquid and hazardous materials including medicines will not be collected.
Neha Sood, assistant director for Campus Sustainability, is serving as program adviser. She became involved in the first Goodbye, Goodbuy! in 2015, in her final year as an RIT student.
“I think it can be hard to visualize and quantify the impact of sustainability programs,” she said. “This is one of the few programs that allows students, families, and the community to see the impact of diverting waste from the landfill.”
Collection begins May 7 and runs through May 16. New this year, collection will be completely outdoors in drop-off boxes. Locations of collection boxes will be posted on the Goodbye, Goodbuy website. Items will be sorted, cleaned, and stored over the summer in four 48-foot trailers and four storage lockers, then priced and set up for sale in August as students move back to campus.
More than 100 volunteers, including students, faculty and staff, have signed up to help, but many more are needed, especially later next week as most students move out. More than 25 shifts are available for volunteers through May 16, broken down into three-hour blocks. Volunteers will be riding around campus in box trucks and golf carts to pick up donations, loading donations in trucks, sorting them, and moving them to and from the sorting center.
Each volunteer who works two or more shifts will get a free T-shirt.
“Volunteers also get access to a special pre-sale before our fall resale opens to the rest of the RIT community as a way of thanking the people who make this program possible,” Wiedemann said. “Signing up with a friend is another great way to enjoy the experience even more, and we’d be happy to let friends work together if they sign up together.”