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Marshall Thrift Store Recycles Move-Out Waste Left Over By Dorm Students

David Adkins
Racks of clothes at the Marshall University thrift store

Every semester, Marshall University adds a significant amount of waste to landfills from items left behind by students as they move out from residence halls. Students often leave behind clothing, bed covers, furniture, and appliances.

But in the spring of 2021, the university was able to reduce the waste by having students donate their items to the new Marshall thrift store, run by Marshall’s sustainability department.

“It’s $3 in HerdPoints, which is a Marshall currency. You buy the bag with that and then you fill that bag to capacity,” said Nick Matawa, a student at Marshall University. “Next time you come, and if you still happen to have that bag, it's $1.”

Waste was reduced by 50 percent, says Logan Pointer - the thrift store manager, who said feedback from students and faculty has been positive. “Everybody's been really proud of this project,” he said.

Matawa previously worked for Marshall facilities, and has personally witnessed the usual amount of waste. “Traditionally a lot of people leave -- you wouldn't believe how much that they leave. Microwaves, mini-fridges, clothing all get yeeted into a big old Dumpster and dragged off to a landfill,” he said.

Luke Campbell, another Marshall student, said he’s found bargain appliances he can use. “I was thinking about getting a sewing machine or something to try and it was three bucks,” Campbell said. “You’d probably be paying for something of similar quality, like 40 or so bucks from Walmart. So seeing this here for that cheap is a huge help.”

The thrift shop is located at 331 Hal Greer Boulevard across from Marshall University.

Marshall University’s Sustainability Department has set a goal of making the school free of plastic waste by 2026.

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