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Too Good to Go Program Cuts Down on Move-out Trash on Drexel’s Campus

May 19, 2023

Donated clothes and furniture
There was a lot of clothing collected at the Millennium Hall event in 2022. 

If you’ve ever moved out of a residence hall or apartment, you’ve probably dealt with those last few items you just don’t want anymore and don’t know what to do with. Your first thought might be to just throw them away, but Claire Toomey, software engineering ‘25, has another option.

The Too Good to Go program, which she started at Millennium Hall last year, will expand to all residence halls this spring. From June 5–17, Dragons moving out of residence halls can bring items they don’t want to take with them to the lobby of their residence hall, and they can also take items they might have a use for that someone else dropped off. From noon to 3 p.m. on June 17, there will also be a free pop-up shop outside of Towers, North, Caneris, Millennium and Van Renssaeler halls.

“You can leave anything you can’t take with you, and the difference with this event in comparison to a donation drive was that I wanted to encourage people to take things, too,” Toomey said. “The goal is to reduce waste, not necessarily just donate. I think there’s a stigma around taking these kinds of things, because it’s like, ‘Oh, I’d feel bad taking something that’s nice if someone else can have it.’ That’s how we can end up with a lot of waste.”

Buy nothing sale outside Towers, North, Caneris, Millennium and Van Renssaeler Halls on June 17 from noon to 3 p.m.

A similar event happened in 2019 when Director of Grounds Maintenance Scott Dunham and Executive Director for Climate and Sustainability Bo Solomon asked students to donate rather than throw out items. About 70 percent less waste was put in the dumpsters, bedding went to animal shelters and unopened food went to Mario's Market. But that event only happened once, until Toomey got the idea to resurrect it at Millennium Hall in 2022. She's supported by the Climate and Sustainability team.

“When I moved to Drexel, I had a car, so I was able to move my stuff back and forth, but I had friends who were worried because they couldn’t afford storage over the summer and thought they just had to toss their stuff,” Toomey said. “A lot of kids are in this situation where they have to give away or throw things out.”

She connected with EcoReps, a student group that works to improve sustainability on campus, and set up tables during the last two weeks of spring term to catch otherwise usable items that might be headed for the landfill. Toomey said an avalanche of items started coming in — mattress pads, chairs, tables, dorm essentials and tons of clothes. She actually found several items she could wear during co-op, and she gave other clothing to her friends and family. She bagged the rest up for Solomon and others to pick up and donate.

For 2023, Toomey received approval from Housing and Facilities to host the event, which will take place at all residence halls during move-out week. Food items will go to Mario’s Market, bedding will go to animal shelters, professional clothing will be picked up for the and other items will be taken by Goodwill and other organizations.