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Move Out

You can reduce your environmental footprint when leaving campus by donating or recycling unwanted items. Whether you live on campus or off campus, there are convenient options for reducing the amount of things that end up in the trash when you move out.

On-campus donation

Take it or Leave it Move out ProgramNOTE: SUSPENDED FOR 2021

Every June, sustainNU offers the “Take it or Leave it” program. Boxes will be placed in the lobby/entry of each residential building to collect nonperishable food items, clothing, sheets, and small household items. Food will be donated to Campus Kitchens. Clothing and household items will be donated to local charities. If you see something you could use in the donation boxes, you are welcome to take it. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

Every year, Take it or Leave it donates more than 10,000 lbs of reusables to charity. This program has been in existence since 1994. For information email sustainNU at or call 847-467-1374. 

Off-campus donation

If you live off campus, you can give items away using Craigslist or Evanston Freecycle. Some charity groups, such as the Brown ElephantSalvation Army, and Amvets will pick up donations. When going with this option, be sure to schedule your pickup in advance.  You can also drop items off at the Brown Elephant, Salvation Army stores, and the Goodwill in Evanston.


Please remember to recycle cardboard, paper, plastic, cans, and glass when moving out. Check out the full list of what is recyclable on NU’s campus. If you live off campus, review Evanston’s recycling practices.

Electronics recycling

If you have old electronics that need to be recycled, contact sustainNU for options. SUSPENDED FOR 2021: During finals week additional collection boxes will be placed in the lobbies of Sargent, Allison, Foster-Walker, Willard, and Elder. You can use these bins to recycle computers, cell phones, TVs, speakers, printers, and more.


Sell your textbooks back to Norris. Using your campus bookstore reduces the environmental impact by keeping books on campus and avoiding the need to ship them across the country for redistribution. 

Learn more

For more information about recycling and reducing waste at Northwestern visit the recycling page or contact sustainNU at or 847-467-1374.