Category Archives: Move-out/R2ePack

Move Out at Tufts

repackIt’s that magical time of year again. Spring Fling is over, masses are flocking to Tisch to study for finals, and everyone is freaking out about graduating/grades/summer internships. Amid the chaos, it may slip your mind that you haven’t packed and, upon a cursory inspection — holy celery stalks, I have way too much stuff and I can’t bring it all with me to Rwanda for my service trip!

Lucky for you, TuftsRecycles! and Tufts Facilities Services makes it super easy to unburden yourself of unwanted items during move-out. Here’s our quick-and-dirty guide to a stress-free and sustainable move-out for those living on-campus.


We DO NOT ACCEPT in any of our boxes:

  • Wire hangers and frisbees (please recycle these in green glass/metal/plastics bins!)
  • Dirty or soiled items
  • Open or spoiled food
  • Hazardous materials

We thank you for your cooperation in making our move-out process as streamlined and sustainable as possible. If you have any questions, please ask your RA or send us an e-mail!

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R²ePack 2012 By The Numbers (And In Pictures!)

Happy summer to all graduating and returning students! While you were packing up your dorm rooms and fiddling with CollegeBoxes, the TuftsRecycles! team was hard at work collecting assorted items for R²ePACK 2012.
 What is R²ePACK?! Good question! R²ePACK is our move-out initiative in which students are asked to Reuse & Recycle everything, pack and clean… k?! Here’s what students recycled and freecycled this year:

- 8500 pounds (wow!) of clothes and linens, to be donated and recycled
- 1 truckload of freecyclable items, to be donated to incoming freshmen in the fall
20 pairs of crutches, to be reused by the Tufts Athletics Department
- 15 boxes of nonperishable food, donated to Project Soup in Somerville
- 6 boxes of Dining Hall dishes, returned to Dewick-MacPhie and Carmichael Dining Halls
- 5 boxes of school supplies, to be donated to the Medford Public Schools
- 3 boxes of books, to be donated to the Boston Prison Book Drive
- 2 cubic yards of broken and working electronics, to be recycled
1  mountain of mattress foam, to be recycled

Many thanks to the R²ePACK team, the dedicated men and women of the Tufts Facilities Department, the Eco-Reps, and all students who participated! Be on the lookout for our Freecycle drop on Tisch roof in the Fall. 

Click for pictures! Continue reading

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Jumbo Drop No More; It’s Time to R2ePack!

As people may have heard, we no longer have the Jumbo Drop program at Tufts University. This year we are trying something different. The Jumbo Drop program has been renamed the R2epack project. R2epack is an acronym for Reuse. Recycle Everything. Pack and Clean…`K?! The project has transitioned away from encouraging students to donate usable goods to Jumbo Drop which would then be sorted and stored over the summer and sold at a fall yard sale, to one of encouraging conservation.
This change in Jumbo Drop is coming as the beginning of a complete overhaul of the Jumbo Drop system, in conjunction with the burgeoning Zero Waste campaign at Tufts. Ultimately, we hope to reinstate a system where the off casts of one year’s students are available to the next year as an alternative to buying new goods, but the previous method was broken and we saw the need to fix it.
We are beginning that overhaul this year with Lewis Hall. Because Tufts Recycles! has storage facilities in Lewis, it will be the site of a pilot program of a new “freecycle” project. The pilot project will offer a collection box for specific donations of basic dorm necessities. The items will be stored in the dorm over the summer and offered free to the returning students when the dorm reopens in the fall. If successful this project will be duplicated in other dorms. The long term goal would be to have one in every dorm able to accommodate the necessary storage space. The freecycle project would add back in the reuse component of Jumbo Drop while substantially cutting operating costs and logistics, thereby reducing the need to resell items at a fall yard sale.
It is our hope that this more localized method will encourage students to decrease their consumption of new goods, while saving money and creating a community event at the same time.
Look for a list of items that Tufts Recycles! will be accepting for this reuse program in Lewis Hall. And if you don’t live in Lewis or want your dorm to be able to facilitate something like this in the years to come, let Tufts Recycles! know, let your Resident Assistants know, and let the Office of Residential Life know. Don’t be silent, get excited. Zero Waste can happen at Tufts and it can make your lives much easier in the process.
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Jumbo Drop

It has been a Jumbo Move-Out! With the exam period over, the only thing that Tufts students have on their mind is beginning their summer adventures. But like clock work, before summer seems close to tangible, we confront the dreaded packing process. We have all said this when that moment has arrived: What to do with all this stuff? Should I sell or throw it away? I just don’t want to be bothered by this? Let’s face it—we would love if someone would just take over from there. So…who you gonna call? Tufts Recycles!; their operation code name: Jumbo Drop.
For over 5 years, Jumbo Drop has been the awesome solution for converting end-of-the-year waste to recycled blessings. This operation, carried out by fellow Tufts students, seeks to work in conjunction with a variety of Boston charities that could benefit from the college disposal scene. At the moment, Jumbo Drop is working with three charities—The International Institute of Boston (IIB), The Boston Project and Project Home Again. Of the three, IBB has worked closely with the Jumbo Drop team members in collecting dorm left-overs. The International Institute of Boston’s involvement with the project began with Tufts student Kate Berson’s Senior community service project through the charity. The purpose of IIB is to offer legal and social services for refugees and immigrants in the Boston Area, with a concentrated focus on resettlement in the United States for refugees. Kate Berson helps facilitate IBB’s goals by personally collaborating with Jumbo Drop along with her group of IIB volunteers, gathering kitchen supplies, bedroom items, furniture, and toiletries. “Jumbo Drop’s contribution will greatly assist our effort to procure donation s of household items and as a result, will play a significant role in these refugees’ reaching self-sufficiency” explained Berson when answering why she chose to work with Tufts Recycles!. Along with socio-political charities, Jumbo Drop works with faith-based organizations. The Boston Project and Project Home Again are community- and faith- based organizations whose mission is to bring renewal in urban neighborhoods. They are working Jumbo Drop to collect furniture and household items to provide those in need with the basic comforts of home they could otherwise not afford.

From clothing to furniture, from knick-knacks to hackey sacks, Jumbo Drop has procured anything and everything that one could possibly need, dare I say even want. This program brings to light the massiveness of college consumerism as well as the dire need to integrate recycling into our everyday lives. Although several charities benefit from these bountiful Tufts donations, it seems as though there is a continuous increase in the amount of items that students choose to throw away as the years go by. We should be inspired by the initiatives of Jumbo Drop and make everyday a Jumbo Drop Day through simple reuse and reduction to better our local environment.

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Pack Rat Paradise

A wall of printers and televisions that would rival the stockroom of Best Buy sits beside the door. Along the back wall are glass vases, wine glasses, and tea sets. Office supplies, at least three dozen Swiffer sweepers and brooms, several hundred plastic hangers, stacks of textbooks and paperbacks, and boxes upon boxes of Ethernet cords, cell phone chargers, and surge protectors crowd the center of the room. Is this an incredibly disorganized Target or Wal-Mart, or a K-mart post bankruptcy? No, this is the Jumbo Drop warehouse on Boston Avenue, where students have been working to sort through everything left behind by their comrades. At least three times a day, someone makes a comment that sounds like, “Jeeeeesh, how can people leave their (insert expensive piece of technology) behind?” or “Won’t this person need this stuff next year?” Anyone can be snide and quip that Tufts students get way too much easy money from their parents, and that’s why they are able to abandon so many expensive or still-useful things every year, but most Tufts students would retort that the majority of their friends are looking at very sparse bank accounts most of the year.
So what’s the real reason students leave so many valuable things behind? Many of my West Coast and Midwestern friends say that they simply can’t carry their things on the plane with them to take them home, and they either don’t want to do the work or pay the money to store their stuff. If one wanted to be positive about it, it could be claimed that Tufts students feel good about leaving their things behind because they know that they will be donated to a good cause. While I rather like that explanation, as a JumboDrop worker I find it hard to believe in all cases. At least half of what we collected this year did not come from the JumboDrop boxes, but from the dorms and apartments that we cleaned out. Most of these objects were not necessarily left with the intention of donation, and were fair game for the janitors to throw away if they cleaned the space before JumboDrop got there. This actually happened this year – JumboDrop was too late to go through one of the Sophia Gordon towers before it was cleaned. How much was wasted because of that?
It is impossible to narrow down the reason why Tufts students routinely leave behind elaborate printers, enormous televisions, and comfortable lounge chairs every year to a single explanation. Likely, it’s a combination of several of the factors mentioned above. However, we can find a way to reduce the amount left behind. Yes, JumboDrop is a great program and certainly helps reduce the waste of reusable things every year, but a lot of what we collect is damaged in the process and then becomes unusable, and there’s no reason that what happened to one of the Sophia Gordon towers this year won’t happen again. You can become an even more responsible recycler by finding other ways to reuse things before they go to the JumboDrop box. Think about what you’ll need next year. Are you sure that you can’t fit those binders into your suitcase? Total up how much you’d spend replacing all of your school supplies in the fall, then compare it with the cost to store them. You will certainly need those things next year. Yes, yes, it’s always thrilling to have new, crisp office supplies every school year (c’mon, we’re all academic nerds here…) but maybe it’s time to leave the exciting September trips to Wal-Mart to buy new folders covered with cute puppies and doe-eyed Barbies in elementary school. You’ll save money, and you’ll be really happy that you did when you’re dying for a pizza next weekend. What if you find out you can’t fit those last few things in your suitcase, and it’s too late to store something? Have an end-of-the-year swap meet with your friends to trade and give away the clothing and other things that you won’t keep. I know many of you would like any excuse to party, and there’s a great one right there. (When TUPD shows up to quiet you down, you can say that you’re saving the environment!)

Ultimately, the goal is to buy fewer new things by reusing what you have and what you can get from your friends. This summer, everyone is lamenting the state of the economy, so what better time to become more conscious of what you don’t need to buy? Before you go out to buy something, think hard about what you already have. Could you put something to a new and creative use? Not only will you save money, but you will help the environment. The majority of waste comes from the creation of an object, so if you don’t buy something new, you reduce that production waste. This is another reason why JumboDrop is a great source if you do need to buy something at the beginning of next year. So please, before you hit the campus bookstore, visit JumboDrop, and if you see a freshman about to get on that bus to Target during orientation, tell them that they can save a lot of money by investigating JumboDrop instead. Next year, think a bit harder about the options for the things you would otherwise donate or heaven forbid, throw away (?!), even and especially when it’s not JumboDrop season. You’ll be saving money and helping the environment at the same time. Sweet deal!
-Kelsey Schur ’12

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Jumbos – Don’t trash it!

Are you trying to pack for the summer but burdened with too much stuff? Don’t trash it, donate it! As part of an effort to reduce waste and save valuable items from the incinerator, the Tufts Facilities Department sponsors Jumbo Drop. JD has placed donation boxes in all the dorms, apartments and most small houses. We even have a box for off-campus students to participate. The box is accessible Monday-Friday from 10am-7pm at the Tufts Institute of the Environment in the rear of Miller Hall.
We accept almost anything reusable. Click here for a complete list of what we accept.

Donations will be sorted, partially donated to local charities and the remaining goods stored over the summer for a yard sale on Labor Day. The yard sale offers students low priced dorm goods. Proceeds of the sale continue to fund this worthwhile cause.

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