PennMOVES changes, but keeps charitable goals

If you have been looking forward to some bargains at the PennMOVES (Penn Move-Out Volunteers Engaged in Service) sale this spring, take note: Some big changes are under way.

PennMOVES, the University’s recycling and re-use drive held during spring Move-out, will begin collecting items on Thursday, May 2, but the sale of the items, traditionally held in June, will no longer occur.

For each of the past five years, PennMOVES has collected approximately 90,000 pounds of items left behind by departing students, including clothes, kitchen wares, and electronics, and arranged a public sale of items, with proceeds going to charity. The first few PennMOVES sales were held at the Class of 1923 Ice Rink before moving to the South Bank complex last spring.

Since 2011, Penn has partnered with Goodwill Industries. Last year, the University collected $42,000.

Starting this year, items donated to PennMOVES will be given to existing Goodwill stores in South and Northeast Philadelphia, and will serve as the foundation for a new West Philly location, which is expected to open at 5050 Parkside Ave. in the late summer.

“The new process still has the original intent of keeping things out of landfills and benefitting the local community,” says Tracy Hawkins of the Business Services Division, which has overseen PennMOVES since its inception in 2008. “Those goals are still being fulfilled and will keep PennMOVES going year after year.”

Hawkins says the project has been moving in a new direction for some time.

“Though we’ve been partnering with Goodwill Industries over the past several years for technical expertise and logistical support, we knew things would change when Goodwill settled on a property in West Philadelphia,” she says.

This year, PennMOVES is also collecting e-waste, which includes any item with a plug or batteries. Previously, e-donations had to be in good working condition, but items such as broken TVs are now being accepted.

“We are asking donors to identify whether something is e-waste,” Hawkins says. “Goodwill has a facility in Center City that handles e-waste disposal and generates revenue for the agency.”

PennMOVES is piloting two new Penn- and Goodwill-branded collection bins, one in front of Rodin College House and the other at Sansom Place West.

Other drop-off locations, along with project details, can be found on the PennMOVES website.