Sustainability at USM

Residence Hall Move-Out

Welcome to Mindful Move-out, an initiative at USM to reduce material and labor waste associated with students moving out of the residence halls in Gorham each spring.


Three Steps to Move-Out Success!

1. What can be reused? Gather those things that you no longer need, or the stuff you don't have space for, and deliver it to your FreeCycle area in your common area or lounge. You can also put broken electronics here and they will be recycled. Simply label them as broken!

Examples: Clothing, unopened canned or boxed food, furniture, lamps, rugs, fans, bed risers, power strips, art work, dishes, pots & pans, hangers, decorations, water bottles, TVs, stereos, clocks, bean bags, chargers & cords, etc.

2. What can be recycled? Go through your room and figure out what can be recycled in your hall recycling area. Most things, except non-rigid plastics, styrofoam, and food, can be recycled! Be sure to only recycle EMPTY containers.

Examples: Food & beverage containers, books, notebooks, folders, papers, boxes, paperboard (like cereal & tissue boxes), shampoo bottles, aeseptic packages (like soy milk, soup, juice boxes) glass, tin foil, etc.

3. Get rid of the Trash! Take your trash out to the bins in your waste area. After you've eliminated the reusable and recyclable materials, the rest of the items you don't want should go in the trash cans on your hall, not be left in the corridor or put in the recycling bin.

Examples: Opened food from your fridge or pantry, plastic bags, styrofoam peanuts or packaging, broken dishes, granola/candy bar wrappers, chip bags, etc.

ALL DONE! Have a great summer & hit up the Fall Yard Sale & Thrift Store when you return before buying new room furnishings! We've got what you need!


What is Mindful Move-Out? 

We are working to make residence hall move-out more sustainable and easier for students, staff, and parents all the while reducing waste and saving the University money. We are hoping to reduce waste generated and reduce the amount of labor spent on clean up by the custodial staff. Building on the success of FreeCycle in the past, we have created a plan that allows everyone to work together for a better outcome. Move-out mindfully!

How does it work?

  • Mindful Move-Out at USMFreeCycle areas will be clearly demarcated on the first floors of all Residence Halls. Any unwanted household items, clothing, appliances, electronics, non-perishable food, and furniture should be left in these areas when a student moves out. Students are welcome to claim anything they find in the FreeCycle area and the spaces will be cleared each day by noon, ready to be filled up again.
  • Recycle whenever possible! Please evaluate your items to be sure that anyting you are putting in the trash is not recyclable or reusable. Utilize single stream recycling bins in the res halls for any recyclable materials such as notebooks, boxes, food containers, etc.
  • Students will be charged for any items left in rooms and any damage found in rooms. Please move-out your items early to the appropriate location so you don't have to leave anything behind. Mindful Move-Out at USM
  • Residents are responsible for moving all materials out of their rooms and to the appropriate locations. Members of the University staff will pick up anything in the FreeCycle area each day by noon and move it to the correct disposal location on campus. 
    • Reusable housewares, clothing, furniture, decorations etc will be stored over the summer and made available to returning residential students at the Fall Yard Sale over Welcome Weekend (outside the basement entrance to Anderson Hall)
    • Broken electronics and Universal waste are going go to North Coast Recycling Services to be recycled.
    • Non-Perishable Food will be donated to Preble Street Resource Center
    • Dishes from the dining hall will be collected and returned to USM Dining
    • Single Stream Recycling goes to EcoMaine where it is sorted, baled, and sold as commodoties
    • Trash goes to EcoMaine where it is burned in an incinerator to generate electricity