The Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division is working to reduce the amount of waste created during the move-in period for students living off-campus and other residents moving in around Athens. And with your help, we can do it! "A Flat Box is a Happy Box" is a campaign that is focusing on cardboard, Styrofoam, and stretchy plastic as these are the major sources of waste when moving into a new living space. Remember, cardboard boxes should be empty and flattened before recycling. Styrofoam and stretchy plastic can be recycled at CHaRM for free!
Move-In Waste Diversion Tips
Moving into college is a very exciting time, but as this new chapter of life is about to unfold, it is important to keep sustainability in mind. Living sustainably is very important, especially in a shared setting, as it can help to conserve living space. Here is a guide with tips and tricks for move-in!
STEP 1: Only bring what you absolutely need!
This may seem obvious, but many students overestimate what they need to bring, and only realize this late on in the semester. It is expensive to try to ship the excess home, so most often the extra stuff gets thrown out and wasted. Try to move in with as little stuff as possible. Not only will it reduce any waste but it will save your back the extra lifting.
STEP 2: Wait on large purchases!
When moving in, it is smart to avoid purchasing large appliances until you have either moved in or discussed the exact items you are bringing with your roommate. This will avoid duplicate items. You get also get a better feel for how much space you have to put these large items in after you have moved in. A great thing to consider is sharing items like a minifridge, microwave, or even dishes.
STEP 3: Buy used!
Buying used items is a great way to reduce your footprint. This will also help to save money and the environment at the same time! Athens has some great thrift stores, just Google it to find the closest one to you.
STEP 4: Skip the boxes!
When moving in, instead of using cardboard boxes try things like laundry bins, suitcases, and backpacks when moving in so there will be no waste created when storing items for a few short hours. If you choose to use cardboard boxes, try to either keep them to reuse for move-out or recycle them. If your new home does not offer recycling, which most in Athens should as required under the Commercial Recycling Ordinance, there are several recycling drop-off sites located around town. Remember, a flat box is a happy box. And don't forget to take your Styrofoam and stretchy plastic to CHaRM to recycle because they DO NOT belong in your home recycling.
STEP 5: Replace your light bulbs!
For any appliances that use a light bulb, replace the bulb with an LED bulb to save energy and reduce waste. Old light bulbs can be recycled at our CHaRM facility.
Multi-Family Properties Waste Diversion
The Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division is working to reduce the amount of waste created during Fall move-in. And with your help, we can do it! "A Flat Box is a Happy Box" is a campaign that is focusing on cardboard, Styrofoam, and stretchy plastic as these are the major sources of waste when moving into a new living space.
Together, we can reduce this waste and keep your properties free of overflowing dumpsters and litter.
There are two ways to participate:
Through this campaign we will provide you with flyers to hand out to tenants or graphics to add to your move-in letter to remind them:
- Cardboard boxes should be empty and flattened before recycling.
- Styrofoam and stretchy plastic DO NOT belong in the recycling BUT can be recycled at CHaRM for free!
Want to go a step further? In addition to the above, you will collect at your property any Styrofoam or plastic film which will be recycled at CHaRM. We will provide you with large bags to collect it all. We can even arrange to have them picked up from you at no charge and taken to CHaRM.
Want to participate? Complete this form.
We are looking to have as many communities participate in this program as possible. So please complete this form if you and your property would like to participate. You will select which level your property would like to participate in and help us reduce waste around Athens!