University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota introduces Pack and Give Back waste reduction pilot

Innovative program will facilitate pick-up of reusable items both on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods

May 9, 2013

The University of Minnesota ReUse Program will pilot “Pack & Give Back” this May, an initiative aimed at reducing waste generated by students moving at the beginning and end of each semester. A partnership with The Salvation Army will help facilitate on- and off-campus pick-up routes for reusable items that might otherwise end up in landfills. This pilot targets students, but is open to all residents in the Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como neighborhoods.

Items collected on campus by the ReUse Program, or brought to the ReUse warehouse by students and neighborhood residents, will be part of the program's "Free Store" May 28 through June 1. Based out of the ReUse warehouse (883 29th Avenue SE), all items in the Free Store will be offered free of charge to students and residents of participating neighborhoods. Any remaining items not claimed by students or residents will be warehoused until the Free Store is re-opened during select September 2013 move-in dates. Items collected by The Salvation Army during its routes will be delivered to Salvation Army collection centers for future re-distribution.

The ReUse Program will collect reusable items on-campus during residence hall move-out May 8-18, while The Salvation Army will run off-campus collection routes May 28 through June 1 in the Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como neighborhoods. The Salvation Army’s route will be identical to city trash and recycling routes, but run one day in advance of the regular pick-up schedule. Here’s a list of actions students and residents of participating neighborhoods can take to donate reusable items:

May 1 - June 1
Students and Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como residents can drop off items at the university’s ReUse Warehouse (883 29th Avenue SE).

May 8-18
Students who live in residence halls will be directed by staff where to place items for Pack & Give Back.

May 28 – June 1
Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como residents (including students) can place items outside one day ahead of their city trash and recycling route for The Salvation Army to pick-up (view schedule map).

June 2 - Ongoing
Call The Salvation Army directly at (612) 328-1265 to schedule a next day pick-up.

This innovative program is sponsored by the waste reduction task force comprised of the City of Minneapolis Third Ward; City of Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling; Hennepin County Environmental Services; Southeast Como Improvement Association; The Salvation Army; and the University of Minnesota Offices of Housing and Residential Life, Student Affairs, University Relations and University Services.

With student waste reduction at the heart of Pack & Give Back, the program's task force sought to involve students from the U's leadership minor program to conduct research into similar successful programs at sizable universities. The project findings and recommendations will be implemented into this pilot.

View program details and pick-up maps at and like the Pack & Give Back Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Pack & Give Back further illustrates the University of Minnesota’s commitment to sustainability. The U’s Twin Cities, Duluth and Morris campuses are all among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.”

The ReUse Program is part of the University Services department of Facilities Management (FM). FM’s mission is to provide a safe, functional, clean and welcoming campus.

Twin Cities Campus: