When people move their possessions out of a self-storage unit, they often leave behind a whole lot of things that they don't really need or want to take with them to their new location. Usually, a storage facility will haul these left-behind items to landfill. However, U-Haul has launched a smart new resource that will keep these items in the consumer stream - a reuse center.
The plan is a self-storage reuse center for customers of the facility. The reuse center provides a "redistribution network for unwanted, gently used household goods, furniture, sporting equipment, bikes and clothing that formerly were destined for landfills." The plan has been launched in many of U-Haul's 1,100 self-storage facilities nationwide, which means a whole heck of a lot of stuff is being given a second life, rather than sent to sit for hundreds, or even thousands of years in a landfill pile.
Any items placed in the reuse area are available for any of the customers or facility staff to use. There will also be a donation box in the facility for items that customers want to have donated directly to organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill.
Keeping consumer goods in the consumer stream as long as possible is a very green move - "reuse" is the second most important R, after "reduce." It's great that U-Haul is starting to promote this concept at at least one of their facilities.
Reusing is Greener Than Recycling
Recycling keeps items out of landfills and turns used things into new things. But it's also energy intensive to break down old goods and reform them into something new. Far less energy intensive is simply reusing items. There are ways to reuse even the most odd items, like nail files, bottle caps, or even shower curtains - all things that would most likely end up in landfill.
Sometimes it can seem pointless to try and find a reuse for some items, and it feels easier to just toss it in the recycling or trash bin. But even the smallest reuse projects matter, and make a difference.