Moving Days: University, city ‘divide and conquer’

Aug. 6, 2007

Each August, thousands of students move into and out of downtown apartments, leaving behind mountains of cast-off belongings.

In an effort to conquer the mess and maximize the benefit to the community, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a coalition of local partners, including the city of Madison, Goodwill Industries and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, are working together on Moving Days, an Aug. 11-14 campaign to encourage students to donate usable items to local charities and to properly dispose of trash and recyclables.

New for 2007 is the availability of an easy-to-print online flyer featuring instructions for donating, recycling and tossing items during move out. Neighborhood associations, landlords and other concerned citizens are encouraged to print and share the flyer with their student neighbors and tenants.

Also new this year is the focus on following city rules for disposal of trash and recyclables. Although many items are worthy of donating, many are not. Students should use the green recycling carts, keep curbside trash and recycling separate, keep all trash in cans or bags, and check the city of Madison Web site for other recycling and trash disposal guidelines.

To collect donations from students moving out on and before Tuesday, Aug. 14, Goodwill Industries and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (in conjunction with their student Conference at St. Paul's University Catholic Center) will staff three truck sites in campus-area neighborhoods.

The groups seek donations of clean clothes, good-quality furniture, unopened nonperishable food and other household items in good condition. All ripped, wet, dirty, rusty, broken, stained or smelly items should be left for city pickup on the curb.

The following is a list of donation sites and times:

  • Broom and Mifflin streets: Near Capitol Centre Foods, Goodwill truck, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Monday, Aug. 11-13; 8 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Aug. 14.
  • Gorham and Henry streets: Behind Holy Redeemer Church, St. Vincent de Paul truck, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Tuesday, Aug. 11-14.
  • Regent and Mills streets: Behind McDonald's in UW-Madison's Lot 51, St. Vincent de Paul truck; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Tuesday, Aug. 11-14.

St. Vincent de Paul donations enable the organization to provide furniture, clothing, food and household items for low-income people. Money raised from store sales also helps with transitional housing operations, emergency shelter and prescription drugs for low-income families. "Vincentian" students from the St. Paul's University Catholic Center have organized and supported the St. Vincent de Paul donation sites during Moving Days for many years. 

The sale of items donated to Goodwill Industries during Moving Days helps fund services that assist people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries in finding jobs and support Goodwill's housing options that allow senior citizens and individuals with mental illness or on limited incomes to live in safe, supervised and affordable places of their own. 

Moving Days is sponsored by the city of Madison, Goodwill Industries, St. Paul's University Catholic Center, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and University Health Services at UW-Madison.

More information on Moving Days and links to more information on how to donate, recycle and dispose of trash can be found by calling George Dreckmann, city recycling coordinator, at (608) 267-2626.