At the end of each semester, outgoing students discard tonnes of usable goods when they graduate/return home from exchange (since everything must be removed from their residences when they move out). Every January and September, new students arrive and must buy new housewares- the same types that were thrown away only months before. This mismatch in timing between supply and demand perpetuates a cycle of waste. We have set up NTNU ReStore to bridge this gap and facilitate the reuse of goods by storing donated goods for incoming students.
Starting May 2019, ReStore was set up in Moholt and accepted its first donations from outgoing students. These items are sorted, stored, and will be distributed to incoming students in August.
Besides the immediate and tangible result of waste reduction, a parallel goal of this project is to change how students think about the items they use, and question when it is necessary to purchase new. This challenges both the notion of products as consumables and the idea that a product lifespan ends when one is finished with it; NTNU ReStore encourages students to think of themselves as stewards of goods rather than consumers.
This December we are piloting a service where ReSykkel will store bicycles from departing students and sell them on the students’ behalf in the new semester.
Every autumn, the used bicycle market becomes a cutthroat competition between new students to find a bike (any bike!). At the end of their study period, many students find it difficult to sell their bicycles, especially in December. We want to bridge this mismatch between supply and demand by storing bicycles for students over the holidays and selling them on departing students’ behalf. This accomplishes three main things:
- New students can find a reliable ride
- Students can get a fair price for their bike when they sell it
- Fewer bicycles become abandoned.
Many students, out of desperation to find a bike end up with unsafe rides. Our mission is to provide a place where students know both that they can buy a bicycle and their money is directly supporting another student. This will lower the number of bicycles students abandon because they just don’t know what to do with an unsold bicycle. We will also fix up previously abandoned bicycles, returning them to circulation and increasing the availability of bikes to students in Trondheim.
If you’d like to help set up this initiative, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This first season of NTNU ReStore was made possible by the generous support of the Velferdstinget and Sit Bolig. Sit Bolig deserves a special shout-out for use of their van and the old kindergarten building, which are invaluable to the ReStore concept.
And finally, to all the students who cared enough to donate their things to future students rather than keep them out of the bin- thanks for making the world a little less wasteful.