Students + Campus

UCLA turns student cast-offs into cash for a good cause

Record haul benefits Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA

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Workers collect donated goods from bins
Courtesy of American Textile Recycling Services

Workers for American Textile Recycling Services haul away clothing and goods donated by UCLA students at the end of the academic year. The project raised $1,600 for Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA.

Thanks to the record generosity of UCLA students, the campus transformed old clothes into more than $1,600 for UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital this week.

Since 2014, UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services has teamed up with the American Textile Recycling Services to provide bins to make it easy for students to donate old clothes and dorm items at the end of the academic year. The Clothes Out program enables the campus to protect the environment by preventing household items, especially usable clothes and recyclable fabrics, from ending up in landfills. And UCLA also gets a nickel for every pound donated.

This year, more than 10,000 students donated a total of 32,185 pounds of clothes, shoes, blankets, lamps, hairdryers, pans and more. A total of 16 tons, a record for UCLA, constitute the most any university has ever donated to American Textile Recycling Services, which partners with nearly 20 campuses in 10 states, said Josh O’Conner, an assistant director in UCLA’s Office of Residential Life.

“UCLA has an extremely diverse student body, with students coming to campus from all over the country and the world,” O’Connor said. “At the end of the academic year, many of our residents travel back to their homes and cannot take everything with them. This program also brings awareness to our campus sustainability goals and zero-waste efforts.”

The collection campaign directed the $1,609 earned by the project to Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. And there’s even better news, O’Conner noted.

“Each graduate housing location still has bins located outside their buildings, and we are still collecting clothing/textiles,” O’Connor wrote in an email. “As of today, graduate housing has collected 12,000-plus pounds this summer alone. Another check will be coming in October.”

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