Spring Clean With the Office of Sustainability

After spending months cooped up inside, most of us enjoy the opportunity to freshen our homes and offices with a good spring cleaning and decluttering. But before all the clutter ends up in a landfill, Kent State University’s Office of Sustainability recommends finding responsible ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.


Before you throw away everything, consider what else you can do with it. Many places in local communities accept donations.

Kent State's Office of Sustainability offers tips on how to be sustainable.

“It is always better to give items another life by reusing or donating first before recycling them or placing items in the trash,” says Leah Graham, outreach recycling coordinator for Kent State's Office of Sustainability.

Ms. Graham emphasizes finding solutions and options other than landfills for disposable materials.


“Before you put it in the trash bin, consider available donation or recycling opportunities,” Ms. Graham says.



  • Clothing: Clothes can be donated year-round to the Kent State Career Closet. Clothes that are not used as professional pieces are donated to the Phyllis Zumkehr Portage County Clothing Center. From spring break to the end of the year, during “Throw N Go,” 100,000 pounds of clothing, furniture and nonperishable food are donated to the Phyllis Zumkehr Portage County Clothing Center, which makes items available to families and individuals at no cost. Or, you can search the Earth911 website for your nearest clothing donation location.
  • Food: If you are cleaning out your food pantry, Kent State’s Women’s Center accepts food donations year-round. During spring break through move out, at “Throw N Go” donation stations, nonperishable food, furniture and clothing are collected and donated to the Phyllis Zumkehr Portage County Clothing Center. Food also can be donated to Family and Community Services, Miller Community House or you can search the foodpantries.org website for your nearest donation location.
  • Furniture and Office Supplies:
    • Furniture and Office Supplies are much needed atReStore (Habitat for Humanity), Phyllis Zumkehr Portage County Clothing Center with Kent Campus donation sites available via the “Throw N Go” program, Village Discount Outlet and Goodwill Industries. For other furniture recyclers in your area, search the Earth911 website.
    • Kent State-owned furniture should be disposed of following procurement and disposal protocols.
  • Architecture and Interior Design Supplies: ZeroLandfill Akron and Cleveland accept these types of supplies for responsible disposal.
  • Ink and Toner Cartridges: For university disposal of these items, you can use the GBEX Ink and Toner Recycling Program. For disposal of personal ink or toner cartridges, search the PortageRecycles.com site or look into the Earth911 website.

Prescription Medication Disposal

Kent State has year-round drop off locations for expired or unwanted prescription medications. The Kent State Police department has a metal drop-off box located outside its building on East Summit Street. If you have questions, call 330-672-3111. The city of Kent Police Station also has a drop-off box located outside its building on Water Street.

Document Shredding

It can be easy to recycle papers, but what about those that include sensitive information? Kent State’s Division of Human Resources and the Office of Sustainability are hosting ShredMania on Wednesday, March 21. The event will be held from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Kent Campus R-17 parking lot behind Starbucks, between South Willow Street and South Lincoln Street, as part of the RecycleMania competition. This event is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and the Kent community. This is a great opportunity to shred unwanted paper waste using a secure, onsite document destruction service.

Sensitive documents, data or information that people don’t want to put directly in the recycling are what people typically shred,” Ms. Graham says. “If you have sensitive information that needs to be destroyed, you can shred it at ShredMania, and then it gets recycled.”

Electronics Recycling

University Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability are also hosting the E-Cycle Drive to encourage the Kent community to properly dispose of their electronics through an R2-certified electronics recycler, where materials are handled in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The drive occurs Wednesdays, March 7, 14 and 21, from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the R-17 parking lot behind Starbucks, between South Willow Street and South Lincoln Street. Almost anything with a cord is accepted except TV sets and kitchen appliances.

From extension cords to old digital cameras, this is the perfect time to responsibly dispose of all of those junk drawer electronics.

“It is all about knowing what options are available for disposable items,” Ms. Graham says. “It doesn’t have to be trash. It’s about finding the appropriate outlet.”

University Facilities Management collects and recycles electronics via Flash Track year-round.

For more information about the E-Cycle Drive and ShredMania, visit www.kent.edu/sustainability/events.

For more information about Kent State’s Office of Sustainability, visit www.kent.edu/sustainability.

POSTED: Friday, March 2, 2018 11:35 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, July 25, 2024 03:10 PM
Audra Gormley