Cal Students: Moving this Spring?

Between finals and summer jobs, it's not easy to move out of an apartment or a dorm. What do you do with excess furniture? Electronics? The huge piles of trash that emerge when you take everything out of your closet and desk? The good news is that there's a lot you can do to keep our city clean and green.

Follow these four easy steps to a smart and sustainable move:

1.     Plan Ahead. Start thinking now about what you’ll keep and what you’ll discard. Don’t wait until the last minute and then just throw everything in the trash.

2.     Reuse. Sell your items online at sites like Craigslist or eBay; or, download the City of Berkeley’s Reuse Guide (http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/pw/swm/reuseguide.pdf).  It lists local organizations that will accept reusable furniture, appliances, and clothing.  

3.     Recycle. Visit StopWaste.org’s website (http://www.stopwaste.org) for more information on recycling services and how to keep your unwanted items like paper, cardboard, furniture, and electronics out of the landfill. On your regular recycling day, bundle newspapers and cardboard and place them curbside.  Use the city’s blue bins to recycle cans and bottles. If you need extra recycling bags, contact Shallon Allen in the City Manager’s office at 510.981.7071.

Computers, televisions, stereos and electronic gadgets should never be put into garbage cans, debris bins or placed curbside. They are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly. An e-waste drive is being coordinated for the Greek community through Greening the Greeks so be on the lookout for special e-waste bins on Channing Circle. The Alameda County Computer Resource Center also picks up anything with a plug, working or not. Visit ACCRC’s website at http://www.accrc.org for more information on scheduling pick-ups.

4.     Use Cal Move-out debris bins. For anything left over, look for specially marked debris bins in areas near campus starting May 12. Neatly place unwanted items that cannot be recycled or reused in the bins. No toxic items, please! Paints, chemicals or electronic devices contaminate the entire bin and make all of the items unfit for recycling and reuse.

The whole community can also play a valuable role by keeping an eye on the bins near your houses. Once the bin appears to be more than halfway full, please call the bin location to Shallon Allen in the City Manager’s office (510.981.7071) so it can be picked up, dumped and returned. Also be on the lookout for bin abuse--especially non-students putting construction materials or hazardous waste in the bins.  If you see bins being abused, please call the Berkeley Police non-emergency line (510.981.5900) and report the illegal dumping.