August 11, 2022
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Student helps reduce waste in Binghamton during May move-out

Plus other end-of-the-semester reminders for off-campus students

Christina Fuller, a senior human development major, picks up donated items as part of the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project she founded. Christina Fuller, a senior human development major, picks up donated items as part of the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project she founded.
Christina Fuller, a senior human development major, picks up donated items as part of the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project she founded. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

The end of the spring semester is quickly approaching, and students are antsy to finish their final exams and celebrate the beginning of summer break. It’s also the time when students are moving out of their houses or apartments, which means a high volume of garbage and unwanted items are left behind. To help combat the waste, one student started a donation project to lessen cluttering at curbs and give back to the community.

“I run a program called the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project, where students can sign up to have someone come pick up their items to be donated, hassle-free,” said Christina Fuller, a senior human development major.

The inspiration for the project came from a conversation Fuller had with her dad and her aunt. According to an article that Fuller’s dad had read, students produced 14 tons of garbage in Binghamton during the month of May. For Johnson City, N.Y., native Fuller, who is passionate about the environment, this is a huge issue happening right in her hometown, and she wanted to do something to help. With encouragement from her family, she jumped right into making her idea a feasible project.

“I joined Ideas Environmental Club on campus with the idea that I would start this project,” said Fuller. “It gave me a platform to do it because I was surrounded by people who wanted to do projects like this.”

With the help of the club, Fuller started the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project, now in its second year. Organizers accept a wide range of items, including furniture, clothes, books, non-perishable food items, cookware and appliances. If you want to donate items, all you have to do is sign up and you’ll be sent an instruction list of what you can and cannot donate and how to sort the items. You’ll be assigned a pick-up time, and the day of you’ll be notified of when volunteers are coming to take your donations to The Salvation Army.

Besides leaving behind items in good condition, disposing of garbage and recyclables properly is another major concern for keeping the streets of Binghamton clean during May.

“We have made great progress in accommodating the needs of the public when it comes to trash and garbage collections,” said Chris Schleider, supervisor for the City of Binghamton Building Construction & Code Enforcement office. “We have increased the frequency of trash collections during the move-out weeks in May and will make scheduled trips to locations that request additional collections. We ask only that the garbage, recycling and large items be well contained until a pickup takes place, so the refuse doesn’t get scattered on the city streets and sidewalks.”

Schleider said students should put all garbage at the curb the evening before the scheduled collection date. Any garbage and small trash items should be placed in blue City of Binghamton garbage bags, recyclables should be put in yellow Broome County recycling bins and up to three large items can be placed at the curb for collection.

Other end-of-the-semester reminders for off-campus students include being mindful of noise levels during parties to avoid disrupting neighbors, as well as alerting landlords in writing of any property defects before moving out for the well-being of future tenants.

In addition to The Salvation Army, Fuller will also donate items to the philanthropic group The Beloved Community, which works closely with a community in Kolkata, India, to fund a school for children and help homeless men get back on their feet. The organization has an annual yard sale to fundraise, and this year they reached out to Fuller and asked if she would donate some items for the cause.

A third place Fuller plans to donate is to local schools so she’s working with the director of community schools at Binghamton to be matched up with local students in need. For example, if a dresser is donated and a student needs a dresser, the project can give it to that student.

“That is awesome because then you know exactly who it’s going to,” said Fuller.

While the end of the semester is extremely busy with finals, events and moving out, it’s important for students to put care into leaving their properties in a state that reflects well on the City of Binghamton, and to remember that their actions can have long-lasting impacts on local neighborhoods.

“We’re Binghamton students,” said Fuller. “We reflect Binghamton University. It’s our duty as students, community members and human beings to do what we can.”

According to Fuller, the project runs throughout May, and students can sign up for the service as many times as needed. Students are also encouraged to drop off their goods directly at The Salvation Army, located on Griswold St. in Binghamton, if they can do so themselves.

To sign up for a donation pickup with the Binghamton Off-Campus Move-out Project, complete this form. To volunteer to help Fuller with donation pickups, email binghamtonmoveout@gmail.com. To request an additional trash collection, contact the Department of Public Works dispatch at 607-772-7020.

Posted in: Campus News