Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Wasteful Generation

We just moved our daughter back home from college for the summer.
It was just unbelievable the amount of usable stuff that was summarily tossed into ginormous dumpsters by her dormitory.
Everything from futons to flat screen TV's to mini-fridges to plastic storage boxes.... toasters... lamps.
You name it - it was thrown away.
Good. Usable. Almost brand new. Stuff.
Piled high in dumpsters.
The dumpsters were overflowing!
It was appalling.
I really could not believe my eyes.

She tells me a friend of hers had room mates that just left drawers and closets full of clothes. Some expensive stuff too.
Gifts from family members.
When contacted by the friend about what to do with their left over "stuff", the reply was, "I don't care - throw it away - whatever".

Are we to believe that this generation is so incredibly irresponsible; so wasteful?

But to be honest, I have seen this before - even when my son attended college several years ago.
One could make a small fortune picking up items on move out day and re-selling them on Ebay, or tag sales. You didn't even have to "dive" into the dumpsters. There was plenty of good stuff just sitting besides them.

And if you attend an expensive school like Yale - the "trash" thrown out on move-out day is even more valuable!

Parents who are footing the bill for these college expenses should wise up.
Their money is literally being thrown away.
But what is so very sad is that these kids have absolutely no concept of their wastefulness.
What a shame.
Especially when the items they are throwing into the dumpster are perfectly good and usable.
Aren't these kids supposed to be ecologically minded? Reusing and recycling everything?
Not at all.
Not. At. All.

And of course they will be back next semester - buying the same stuff, to fill their dorm room, from Target (or where ever).


Mechelle said...

I see an opportunity here. Rent a truck and a big sign for each side. We pay cash for working tv's, bedding, furniture. Offer up rock bottom prices and have a couple of guys ready to haul stuff from the building to the truck. See it all later at an organized yard sale but first... outfit your dorm for next year!

Laura said...

We live in a college town. I brought my laptop in to a local computer repair place during finals week last week and a woman came in behind me with a laptop and asked if they had a cord that would work with it and if she could plug it in and try it out. She had just seen a student toss it in a dumpster and wanted to see if it worked. The owner of the place said, "It probably does... or just needs a minor fix. We get about 100 student-discarded laptops a year in here. Apparently they don't fit in the BMWs."

My dh got a fridge/ freezer for his office a couple years ago out of a dumpster. I've been scouting the dumpsters at the dorms and the apartment complexes looking to find some replacement dining chairs we need. There are people here who get furniture from the dumpsters, repaint it, then sell it to the wealthy alumni at the local antique malls. It's insane!

(And this is a state school, btw. Not a private university.)

ChristineMM said...

Great post.

What a shame as in New Haven there is a large freecycle community and it's too bad that something can't be coordinated. Just a mile down the road from that campus are people in need.

One thing that really bothers me is how there is a disconnect between people with things they don't want and how to get them to people who do want (or need) them.

In this time of cyberspace I wish there were resource lists, such as I have a working TV to give away who needs it? What organization or church could use X item? What school is willing to take my art supplies, so on and so forth.

We are decluttering in order to move and I'm going to let go of perfectly good things that make no sense to pay to move. I'm just trying to find homes for it.

Another challenge is the picky-ness of the charity thrift shops that won't take items such as board games, toys, etc.

I wind up donating to a charity thift shop 30 miles from me just becuase they take it all: craft supplies, toys, books, games, cassettes, VHS, bric a brac, anything and everything.
(Sarah's Cupboard in Branford CT)