Reuse Center changes idea of trash

Looking to buy used three-ring binders, half-empty shampoo bottles, gently used Sega games or a 2003-4 Nintendo calendar? Eco-Pax has the place for you, right on campus.
Last week, Eco-Pax began the semester by opening the Student Reuse Center (SRC). Located in the formally vacant coatroom right outside West Lawn Dining Hall, the SRC provides a new opportunity for students to purchase used school supplies, bathroom necessities, and a wide assortment of items for low, low prices.
“Lots of people think it’s the men’s restroom,” said Ross Weaver, one of the Eco-Pax members in charge of this project, “but it’s not! Don’t be afraid to come in, men or women.”
The SRC opened last week with the donations collected from the previous semester. It already holds two tall shelves full of items, along with a few boxes of clothes, sheets and other goods. A metal soccer ball piggy bank guards the proceeds, currently collected on the honor system. What isn’t moving out will eventually be donated to the Depot.
The idea began at the end of last semester when Eco-Pax advertised for donations from students who were cleaning out their rooms for break. Ross said the catalyst was seeing all the trash discarded by students.
Eco-Pax wants to revamp that “toss-it” mentality.
“The hope is that people’s view of possessions will change, ” Ross explained. “Things seen as useless trash could be used by someone else.”
On top of donations, Eco-Pax also sorted through trash, pulling out gently used items that could be used by someone else.
The next step was to go to Student Life for approval of the idea.
“I see this venture as a great avenue both educationally and practically, ” said Bill Born, vice president of student life. “If one goes to the re-use center, you quickly realize the quality of items people are ready to let go of.”
Alana Kenagy, also forerunning the Reuse center with Ross, echoed this sentiment: “It’s a learning tool to think about how much we throw away and how much is reusable.”
The Physical Plant also provided storage for when the center is closed.
In time, Eco-Pax wants the SRC to become a more permanent fixture on campus. Their goals are environmentally and community oriented.
“We wanted to decrease the amount of resources campus is consuming and provide cheap, useful items students would be able to use to make campus more self-sufficient,” said Ross.
This next week Eco-Pax will keep the SRC open 24 hours Monday through Thursday. If campus continues to respect the space and follow the honor system, it may remain open like this permanently for the rest of the school year.
Eco-Pax will gladly accept donations, which can be dropped off at the labeled box in the coatroom where the Reuse center is located. Food items will not be accepted. Email Kenagy at  HYPERLINK “mailto:alanask@goshen.edu” alanask@goshen.edu or Weaver at  HYPERLINK “mailto:rossmw@goshen.edu” rossmw@goshen.edu for more information.

Emily Taylor
Written by Emily Taylor

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