Items students left behind sold, donated to charity - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Items students left behind sold, donated to charity

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USC employee loads flat screen TV into Give it up for Good donation truck USC employee loads flat screen TV into Give it up for Good donation truck

Microwave. Television. Vacuum cleaner. Dorm-size refrigerator. All left behind by students living in the residence halls at the University of South Carolina.

But instead of taking up space in a landfill, those items that are disposable to students can end up in your home.

"We started this program around 12 years ago when we were noticing just how much stuff was left behind by students as they moved out of the residence halls," said Margaret Bounds, Coordinator for Environmental Sustainability University Housing and Facilities Management.

"Everything was basically going to trash dumps or into the landfill and our custodial staff had to spend days just kind of bringing everything out of the building," she said.

As the semester closes, Give it Up for Good boxes are placed in the residence halls for students to place their unwanted items. In the past four years, about 30,000 pounds of goods have been gathered annually.

Food is donated to Harvest Hope. The rest will be sold at a yard sale on May 24th. Last year the sale raised $4,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

"All of the microwaves and mini-fridges, sort of appliance things usually get sold," said Bounds. "We always have a lot of clothing left over so we do then distribute that to other local charities like Salvation Army or Goodwill."

Bounds said they usually gather about 20 truckloads of the items. While waiting for the yard sale, PODS donates six portable storage bins to hold the merchandise.

Like others, Bounds is amazed at the things students throw away.

"Every year it surprises me even though I know what's coming," Bounds said. "Especially things like mini-fridges and microwaves that are expensive items in the first place. I'm amazed that they leave them behind and always wonder when they get home if their parents are like, 'Where's your microwave?' and they're like, 'Oh, I left it.'"

So Mom and Dad, if your want your little Gamecock's microwave back, the yard sale is Saturday May 24th at the Greene Street Intramural Field from 8 am- 1 pm.

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