Richards: What is REScycle, and why should you contribute?

Asking the Real Questions

Jason Richards, Staff Columnist

At the end of each school year, the Case Western Reserve University Office of Energy & Sustainability hosts REScycle, a way for CWRU students to recycle belongings such as clothes, electronics, furniture, non-perishable food and other supplies instead of throwing them away at the end of the year. One student’s trash is another student’s … well, also trash.

It’s an amazing and eco-friendly concept, though. Instead of throwing items away to eventually end up at a landfill or overflowing The Village at 115th’s trash chutes, students can opt to place their items in a dedicated space at each of the residence halls for other students to look through and adopt as their own.

In honor of Earth Day 2021, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight the importance of this program and how you as a CWRU student can make the most of it while making a conscious effort to recycle your belongings.

We all have that box of pancake mix or surplus instant ramen that never gets used (or even touched) by the end of the semester. Or you may have a cheap coffee table you bought but have no way to transport it home. These items are great to give to REScycle for someone else to pick up and use.

Last year, I was able to pick up a mini fridge and a TV stand from my residence hall’s REScycle area—that stuff is luxury around here. To return the favor, I dropped off a few coats that didn’t fit me anymore, no thanks to the many trips to the local Uptown Chipotle last year, and twenty-some instant ramen packets (chicken flavored!) which were gone within the hour. I plan on REScycling these same items when I graduate in the spring for someone to hopefully carry on the legacy of my mini fridge and TV stand.

You can find some great stuff at REScycle towards the end of the spring semester, while contributing to sustainability efforts here at CWRU. The REScycle program gathers around eight tons of unwanted items each year, and items that don’t get picked up by other students will likely be donated.

If you have an item that’s too large to take to your residence hall’s REScycle collection area, you can submit a maintenance request with the hashtag #REScycle and it will be picked up for you. There’s no excuse not to contribute!

REScycle is a great way to give back to the CWRU community at the end of the semester. Look out for an email from the Office for Energy & Sustainability towards the end of the semester for specific dates and locations, so you can find some good stuff and make your move-out more sustainable.