Northwestern University officials say students moving out of their dorms in June gave 14,000 pounds of cast-off clothing and food to a campus recycling effort.

The students left the items in bins set up at dorms across campus.

The school’s recycling manager, Julie Cahillane, says there was so much clothing that the school brought in a company that specializes in recycling clothes to help run the effort.

The firm, Fundraise and Recycle Clothes Now, operates a chain of resale shops called Unique Thrift Stores, including ones at 4445 Sheridan Road and 7530 N. Western Ave. in Chicago that received most of the donated clothing.

Donated non-perishable food was used by Northwestern’s Campus Kitchens Project to help provide bag lunches for children at non-profit agencies in Evanston.

Although the move-out recycling program has been in operation  for 14 years, this is the first time officials have tracked the weight of the goods collected.

Related link

Northwestern news release

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Great, but. . .
    This is both wonderful and horrifying. I think it is a tribute to the students of Northwestern that they were willing to ensure that their cast-off clothing and food was put to good use. However, if college students can afford to merely discard 14,000 pounds worth of material goods, I have to wonder what value those goods have for them. Are these students learning the importance of reduce/reuse/recycle or are they simply the products of a throwaway society that has so many material goods that each one has no intrinsic value? I hope Northwestern continues this effort each year, but frankly, I hope that next year they collect less.

    1. My, aren’t you the wet blanket
      Hi Lisa,
      So if Northwestern has about 6,000 undergraduate students on the Evanston campus, and only they took part, the average student pitched just over two pounds of clothes into the bins.

      That’s about one fourth of a typical washer load of clothes, and it doesn’t sound to me like a huge amount to dispose of after a year of wear.

      And I still wear t-shirts that are in their second decade!

      — Bill

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