A practical way to curb wastefulness on campus

Pack and Give Back is a good solution to several interrelated issues.

At the beginning and the end of every school year, University of Minnesota students generate an unusually large amount of trash. Moving in and out of campus housing often means leaving behind furniture, appliances and decorations that are still in good condition.

The Pack & Give Back program — run collaboratively by the University, the city of Minneapolis and nearby neighborhood associations — is trying to reduce the student waste stream.

The program has already rescued about 70,000 pounds of reusable goods from garbage bins, and its operators likely collected more goods this year as the program expanded into new campus-area neighborhoods it didn’t previously reach.

All of the rescued goods are donated to charitable organizations or made available for donors and students at the University’s “Free Store” in Southeast Como.

Pack & Give Back is a practical way to solve several facets of a complex problem. The program diverts useful products from the waste stream, giving them new life and alleviating trash buildup in dorms and local neighborhoods. In turn, these products can be given away or sold at affordable prices to students and residents who may not be able to afford new furniture or appliances.

The program seems to be working well in only its second year, and we hope that Pack & Give Back will continue its successes and growth in future years.