'SMOP' helps find new homes for college kids' castoffs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

'SMOP' helps find new homes for college kids' castoffs

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The week after graduation means moving out for many University of Vermont students. Several organizations in Burlington have organized a way to get discarded trash and furniture off the streets and into a dumpster or another home.

"Historically people when they are moving out, they take their belongings that they don't want to take to their new apartment and they leave it in the green belt," said Ita Meno, a health and housing inspector.

The annual Spring Move Out Project, also called the SMOP, on Buell and Loomis streets, allows those people moving out to bring their items while others came to look for an item they could use. Any items that do not get taken are sent for reuse and recycle.

"There are a lot of benefits to the community for it, namely it helps to keep the community prettier. It helps to recycle reusable furniture and keep a lot of stuff out of the landfill," Meno said.

"We would have just put it right out in our front yard just for convenience sake. It's real great that the SMOP has these dumpsters there. It saves us a lot of time and hassle," said Alex Blanchard, a recent graduate.

Couches, clothes, TVs, kitchen items and even a new sewing machine-- you'll find a little bit of everything at the SMOP. And the rain didn't deter some people from getting a good find. Shoppers moved quickly to grab the items that caught their eye. Whether you were bringing or taking items, it was all free.

"It helps everyone. We get to get rid of our stuff. Someone else gets it, and if we want something, we can take it too which is pretty nice," said Lauren Passalacqua, a recent grad.

For 13 years, the SMOP has found new homes for items and in the process, kept the streets of Burlington clean.

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