Virginia Tech YMCA Encourages sustainability during move-in

Y-Toss gives students away to stock their dorm in a reusable way

How one local organization makes the move to a dorm a little easier

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Campus is buzzing at Virginia Tech as thousands of students make their way to Blacksburg to start their college journey.

Gloomy skies and clouds overhead didn’t stop students as move-in week kicked off Monday.

“I got put on waitlist and was kinda sad,” incoming freshman Will Cortes said. “Then I got accepted in May and was super excited and I was like, ‘You know what, I’m just gonna go.”

For Will, coming to Virginia Tech means moving over 13 hours from home.

“I’m from Miami, so I’m not used to the colder weather,” Will said. “But we had a 13-hour drive.”

The transition to college is a difficult and expensive one for many students. That’s why one local organization is stepping in to make the move to a dorm a little easier.

“As opposed to having things going to the waste stream, or the dump we reallocate that and collect all those items that are in good usable condition, then we store them in the summertime until fall when students move back in to provide them with low-cost alternatives to items they’re going to need in their residence rooms,” Virginia Tech YMCA CEO Ryan Martin said.

The Virginia Tech YMCA is one of only eight campus YMCAs in the country and it strays away from the typical model of a YMCA you may know.

“We don’t have a fitness center or a gymnasium, things of that nature, we really focus on student leadership development,” Martin said. “We try to get students involved and moving off of the campus and developing programs that have community impact, and then finding a way to operationalize those and run them for the community support.”

As Y-Toss benefits students, it also benefits the community when it comes to sustainability.

“You don’t have to buy something new necessarily you can get things at just a great value at a cheaper rate too,” Martin said. “So that it really is a way to keep things in a perpetual motion so that as people are getting rid of things that they no longer need, that are still reusable and have a second life.”

Y-Toss will reopen Tuesday at 9 a.m. and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday.

About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.