Every year, thousands of pounds of semi-used goods head to landfills during student move out, including notebooks, binders and even electronics.
Along with the YMCA at Virginia Tech, the Office of Sustainability, the Department of Residence Life and the Town of Blacksburg team up to host Ytoss to reduce the amount of excessive waste produced during student move out.
Last year, the Ytoss group collected 20,000 pounds of materials.
The 6th annual Ytoss program will take place from Saturday, May 7, to Thursday, May 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, with the exception of the final day, which will conclude at noon.
“Ytoss is a sustainable movement that we are trying to implement throughout campus — it’s the first of its kind,” said Allison Rizzetta, a sophomore environmental resource management major and co-director of Ytoss. “It’s our attempt to create a culture of reduce, reuse, recycle in a really tangible way.”
The slogan for Ytoss this year is “we want what you’ve got.”
Students are encouraged to donate a variety of leftover goods they don’t want, including clothing, food, hutches, rugs and any kind of electronics. The only items not accepted are lofts.
These items are then cleaned, tested and stored over the summer. Then, Ytoss resells the donated goods back to the community during the first two days of move in next fall. All proceeds go to the YMCA community student-led programs, which include after school tutoring, senior connections, buddy playgroup and alternative service break trips.
There will be eight collection points for students to donate their goods this year: Pritchard/Lee, Miles/Johnston, Eggleston Quad, Payne Hall, Slusher Hall, Oak Lane, Ambler Johnston and Shultz/Monteith.
All the collection points will be located next to a dumpster so trained volunteers can encourage students throwing goods away to donate them instead.
Rizzetta and her co-director Sheel Patel, a junior finance major, have been planning this year’s event since the end of Ytoss last spring. Together they have formed a committee that holds weekly group meetings to make this year’s event more efficient.
The Ytoss program’s goal is to double its profits and collect 30,000 pounds of donated goods.
“We hope that this event will be as big as Relay for Life and the Big Event,” Rizzetta said. “We want to be the third that’s mentioned with those to events.”
Organizing the event takes a considerable amount of time and volunteer effort. Over 150 volunteers are needed within a six-day period.
“We couldn’t function without all of the other organization and support that campus gives us,” Rizzetta said. “We’ve been able to grow so much from just what I’ve seen this past year.”