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Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Student-led initiative contributes to sustainability and local charities

Arts and Science Undergraduate Society event reduces waste by allowing students to drop off, pick up, and donate items as the end of the academic year approaches.

  • Items, from plates and printers to clothing and chairs, can be dropped off and picked up at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society exchange.
    Items, from plates and printers to clothing and chairs, can be dropped off and picked up at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society exchange.
  • The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society host an event where household items and clothing can be dropped off and picked up for free for Queen's and Kingston community members.
    The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society host an event where household items and clothing can be dropped off and picked up for free for Queen's and Kingston community members.
  • ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner Emily Armstrong stacks clothing items during the item swap hosted outside the ASUS office on University Avenue.
    ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner Emily Armstrong stacks clothing items during the item swap hosted outside the ASUS office on University Avenue.

As students finish the academic year many of those living off campus are left with furniture, clothing, and household objects which they no longer have a need for – particularly for those traveling long distances.

To address the environmental impact caused by removing these items the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) is hosting an event where students can drop off, pick up, and donate items to charity.  

Improving sustainability

Students were asked to drop off furniture, household items, electronics, spent batteries, clothing, and food between April 27-29 at the ASUS office (183 University Ave.) in an effort to reduce the amount of waste discarded or left behind at the end of the academic year and encourage reuse of these items within the larger Kingston community.

“It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement and there is a real need for items in the community, as well as providing an option for students to give back in a meaningful way,” says Emily Armstrong, ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner. “We’ve had comments from students saying that they have needed this service for months, while the charitable donations have the ability to make life easier for others in the community.”

The first day of the event was well attended with many students dropping off, sorting, and exchanging items. With a focus on reusing and recycling items, the initiative diverts waste away from landfills and contributes to a greener, more sustainable campus.

Community impact

At the end of each day, surplus items are donated to various local organizations including the Kingston Youth Shelter, Dawn House, Trellis HIV and Community Care.

“We’re always in need of new and gently used items for our shelter and two transition houses, we also have a number of people who will be graduating from our programs – so it helps them out when they don’t have a lot of funds to get off the ground,” says Anne Brown, Executive Director of Kingston Youth Shelter. “Partnerships and events like this help create a dialogue that raises awareness in the community about the needs of not-for-profits.” 

Voluntarism by Queen’s students, faculty, and staff, was highlighted in a recent economic and community impact study carried out by Deloitte. Each year the Queen’s community has a positive impact on the city and region by contributing to a wide range of local causes, with millions of dollars raised and thousands of volunteer hours provided to local organizations.

Visit the ASUS website for more information on future student-led events and initiatives.