News / Edmonton

University market sells old belongings to new students

Students moving out of U of A residences this year left behind almost 13 tonnes of stuff

Maja Osmanagic, project planner, engagement, with the U of A's Office of Sustainability holds up some of the items that will be on sale on Friday.

KEVIN TUONG/For Metro

Maja Osmanagic, project planner, engagement, with the U of A's Office of Sustainability holds up some of the items that will be on sale on Friday.

Every year a fresh crop of university students take their exams, graduate and leave student life behind.

They also leave behind thousands of pounds of clothes, mattresses, kettles, and the occasional pair of designer shoes.

This year, the Office of Sustainability is partnering with Goodwill to make those discarded items available for new students to buy, with their new Eco Move-In Market happening Friday.

Since 2012 the Office of Sustainability has hosted events to allow students moving out of campus residences to donate the items they couldn’t take with them to Goodwill, instead of tossing them out.

But this is the first year they’re hoping to keep most of those items on campus, said project planner Maja Osmanagic. If all goes to plan, the new event will divert waste from the landfill, while helping students furnish dorm rooms on a budget.

“It creates kind of a sustainability loop, or a recycling loop, with items going from student to student,” she said.

The transience of student life means a lot of stuff get tossed: students moving out of the U of A campus this spring and summer donated almost 13 tonnes of clothes, household goods and non-perishable food.

Heaped in piles in university storage, much of it, including appliances, cookware and many pairs of winter boots, looks untouched.

Last year there was even a pair of brand new Valentino shoes left behind, which after being discovered by a local blogger sold for a pretty high price.

“Nothing really seems unusual anymore,” Osmanagic laughs.

While some of that stuff would otherwise be donated or given away anyway, Osmanagic said a lot of it would also be thrown out.

“It’s also about making those habits, and showing people that there are options and you really don’t need to throw things in the landfill,” she said. “There are homes for these things.”

The first Eco Move-In Market for students is happening at International House on Aug 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Prices range from $2 to about $25.

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