Expanded PennMOVES collecting food items, e-waste

As students pack their bags and depart for the summer, the end of the academic year is the perfect opportunity for the Penn community to do some spring cleaning.

Each year, PennMOVES, the University’s recycling and re-use drive held during spring move-out, collects approximately 90,000 pounds of items discarded by students, faculty, and staff, including clothes, housewares, office supplies, and furniture. Since last year, items collected during the drive have been donated to Goodwill Industries in Northeast and South Philadelphia, or recycled if irreparable.

The 2014 PennMOVES drive is already underway, with collection sites at various campus locations until Sunday, June 1. Organizers from the Business Services Division and Penn Residential Services recently announced a few new additions to the drive.

Starting this year, PennMOVES will collect sealed, non-perishable food items in partnership with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization. Food donations will be collected separately from Goodwill donations in every residential building and at Penn Hillel.

“We’re excited about this partnership because a lot of people had asked about food drives in years past, and this year we were able, with the assistance of Philabundance, to make it happen,” says Joel Mintzer, building administrator for Residential Services and coordinator for PennMOVES.

Students, faculty, and staff can also donate any e-waste in Goodwill bins—whether working or broken—thanks to a new partnership between Goodwill and Vintage Tech Recyclers.

“E-waste can consist of any electronic device you plug-in or that takes batteries—anything from a lamp to a computer or cellphone,” says John Eckman, director of Residential Services. “Vintage Tech’s facilities ensure that no one’s personal data is compromised and that devices are recycled properly.” E-waste can be donated along with other donations to Goodwill at PennMOVES collection sites.

Eckman says they are already thinking ahead to next year and that in the coming months, Residential Services will call for suggestions from faculty and staff for future large-volume PennMOVES partnerships around specific items such as books or used school supplies.

“One of the great things about PennMOVES is that it really is a campus-wide effort,” Eckman says. “It’s a way for us to engage sustainably and have an impact in the community.”

For a full list of acceptable items, collection locations, and hours of operation, visit Residential Services’ PennMOVES website.