Goodbye Goodbuy! Move Out Collection Move In Sale
Goodbye Goodbuy is a collection and sale of all gently used goods, (furniture, toiletries, electronics etc.) left after students move out. In the first year it generated 21,000$ dollars, profiting 10,000$.
This program diverted an estimated 40-50 tons of material from the landfill while saving students money on dorm / apartment essentials. Couches were sold for as low as 10$, Brita filter pitchers for 3$ and bags stuffed to the brim with clothes for 5$. Goodbye Goodbuy has also created several openings for student employment, provided a chanel for RIT to easily handle surplus property, and enabled department offices to outfit themselves with cheap supplies and technology. Finally, all partialy used materials, such as half used laundry detergent or soaps, were donated to shelters and missions around the city of Rochester, improving the social standing of the niversity and benefiting those in need.
The Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) Team helped to advise the three student employees tasked with this undertaking. Through membership with their organization Goodbye Goodbuy! was provided with discounts on things like Penske truck rentals and bed-bug treatments. The PLAN team also provided data tracking sheet templates, and on-call support for questions the student team faced while tackling this project.
Planning and marketing was done throughout spring semester, posters were produced and applied across campus, and the dorms and apartment complexes were divided into sections with specified drop-off locations near where roll-off dumpsters are usually placed for the coming collection. Social media was put in place through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Volunteerspot was used to create volunteer shifts and specific roles and time periods to keep it simple and organized for volunteers.
Collection required a group of 200 volunteers over the course of one week, 2 mid sized Penske box-trucks, lots of hand-carts, and what was formerly a study-center space designated for sorting and processing. Collection also required lots of coffee.
Sorting over the summer was done using the basement of a university owned barn, 6 semi-truck trailers, and the previously mentioned study-center space. Items were sorted by category (kitchenware, officeware, houseware / decor) and priced during the sorting process. All electronics were tested to ensure functionality and broken merchandise was filtered out.
Sale during the final week of the project we used the previously sorted materials to create sections of the sale which took place in two of the basketball courts at the university. Tables for the materials were rented from Facilities Management Services and Cashboxes were rented from the Club Office, card payment was processed with a loaned out reader from Student Auxilliary Services. By the end of the week, despite lots of stolen goods, we had made 21,000$.
Furniture delivery service was provided to students who paid extra for it on a price system that scaled relative to distance from campus to cover fuel costs and to increase accessibility for students without cars. This system was heavily utilized by students in off campus apartments.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Improvements could be made across all sections of this project.
- Increase the size of leadership infrastructure
- The biggest issue we faced was an organizational structure with 200 people volunteering and only about 4 people as administrators. To improve this we created teams with captains, paid on stipend, to oversee different aspects of the program. Doing this enables the program managers to continue to look at the process long term and to focus on the broader organizational elements of the program rather than doing lots of the sorting themselves (though they continue to do so because they're rockstars.)
- Set up a system to weigh the materials on their way into the sorting process so a total non-specific weight can be reported.
- Have more volunteers certified to drive RITs vehicles.
- Use donated supplies like dressers and organizers to increase organization and reduce the space occupied by the materials.
- Purchase a price tag / barcode printer to increase the rate at which items are priced and inventoried.
- Ensre a volunteer base ahead of time and have specific tasks planned for them to accomplish.
- Campus Administration
More to come soon!
Follow up events are held as a thank you to volunteers that got involved. Our first one is coming up soon. At it we will announce the new teams / captains approach as well as giving awards made from broken pieces of furniture that have a commemorable message etched into them using a woodburing / etching tool on campus to the volunteers that were the most involved.