By Elizabeth Klinge

DAVIS (CBS13) — It’s that time of year when college students are leaving school for the summer, but it’s what they leave behind that’s causing concern.

As thousands of UC Davis students graduate and get ready to move on, they leave behind tons of trash.

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“There’s a lot of kids that are moving across the country or are going back home to a different country, so they’re not taking a lot of the stuff that’s just not worth it to ship somewhere,” said Lynne Okamuro, the general manager of All Things Right and Relevant.

With trashcans overflowing, many Davis apartment complexes bring in extra dumpsters to handle all the unwanted items. The City of Davis estimates it adds up to an extra 200 tons of garbage that is sent to the landfill.

Now, the city is launching new outreach efforts to keep all those sofas, shirts, books, and barstools out of the trash.

“A lot of the stuff is reusable,” Okamuro said.

Okamuro manages her local thrift and consignment store that helps give used items another chance.

“In the modern era, we would like to reuse as much as possible and make sure if it has more life in it that you can pass it on to somebody else,” she said.

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And they get dozens of bags a day that would otherwise be tossed away.

Six-year-old Sarah Luckenbill is doing her part by purchasing a second-hand hat.

“It’s awesome that all of the clothing is getting reused instead of thrown out,” she said.

And her mom said it also makes economical sense.

“Between the thrift stores and the buy-nothings, or freecycles, or your community, you can often find the things you need without spending anything,” Julia Luckenbill said.

The university also encourages sustainability through its campus re-use store and by setting a goal of diverting 90 percent of solid waste from the landfill.

“Our landfills are a finite resource so we can’t keep filling it up with everything,” Okamuro said.

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Davis has a list of options for unwanted household goods.

Elizabeth Klinge