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A Monumental Year for Project Move Out

College couches, beds and appliances that were once used for post-final exam exhaustion and mac’n cheese attempts found themselves curbside for school’s end.

But because of an ongoing partnership between the City of New Brunswick and Rutgers University, those items were collected in an eco-friendly way that has seen its most enthusiastic participation yet.

In its sixth year, Project Move Out alleviates the large amounts of bulk items left out on curbs during spring move out time.

Students use their Rutgers ID to sign up for curbside pick-up of their bulk items or register to drop them off at designated locations. Items are collected in an orderly and eco-friendly manner that helps to keep our City clean and neat.

This year’s number of curbside pick-up registrations nearly doubled over last year, while the City’s Department of Public Works collected over 1,000 tons in truckloads during the Project Move Out time period and Rutgers’ collection numbers jumped from being in the 70’s and 80’s to almost 110 tons!

The goal isn’t to generate more trash: items that can be repurposed are recycled for reuse, and as a result, many items are kept out of landfills.

New Brunswick Public Works Director Steve Zarecki, a 31-year veteran City employee, recalls the Rutgers students’ rush of moving from their off-campus (neighborhood) apartments and back home for the summer as the prime time for dumping and debris to “decorate” City streets.

“Bulk items used to be piled so high you couldn’t see the houses,” Zarecki said.

New Brunswick is no stranger to turning a problem into a positive so when the conversation started as to how to mend the move out mess, Project Move Out was born.

These record numbers along with increased attention on clean and green initiatives, like New Brunswick’s achievement of Sustainable Jersey Certification as well as the City’s My Waste app, prove that more and more people care about the cleanliness of our community.