Dumper photo

This dumpster on Mill Street in Athens already had some examples of students moving out as of Monday this week. Photo by Conor Morris.

This week into next week, the city of Athens has dumpsters available in various areas throughout the city as Ohio University main student move-out weekend is here.

As previously reported by The NEWS, the city had been encouraging students and others who have leases ending at the end of this month to move out as early as possible to reduce the likelihood of crowds of students and their families arriving in Athens at one time.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson issued a warning earlier this month on this topic, noting that college towns with big move-out weekends could create the potential for people crowding together along with the potential for spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Similarly, people visiting from other areas could bring the virus with them.

Patterson also asked those leaving to take their furniture and other large items with them, instead of leaving them on the curb for trash pick-up (oversized items left at the curb will still be subject to additional fees).

Outside of the dumpsters, according to a release from the city of Athens issued last week, two local stores are available to accept items for donation. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, located at 309 W. Union St. in Athens, began accepting items through a no-contact drop-off system this Tuesday, with weekday hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store also will be open Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call the ReStore at 740-589-5865 to arrange a pick-up for items. The store will otherwise remain closed to customers.

The Goodwill thrift store will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be accepting donations in a bin outside that building at 175 Columbus Road.

“Please only leave items during these days and hours and place items into the box or bin,” the Athens Goodwill wrote on its Facebook page. “Large items may be placed beside the box or bin. If someone is leaving items or taking items inside, please wait until they are done to leave your items.”

The move-out dumpsters will be available through May 8, and are free to use. The locations are:

• In the vicinity of 119 Mill St. (to service the Mill and Palmer Street area).

• In the vicinity of 93 Mill St. and Oak Street.

• In the vicinity of 35 Carpenter St. (to service Franklin and Grosvenor Streets).

• On West Union Street near Buffalo Wild Wings.

• On South Court Street in front of Chipotle.

• On the corner of North Court Street and State Street.

• In the vicinity of the Southeast Ohio History Center (located at the corner of West State and Congress streets).

• Additional dumpsters may be made available by landlords to their tenants. Check with your landlord to see if this is available.

The city in the release noted that the dumpsters will be emptied frequently, and that any trash left on curbs must be bagged and tied for the safety of the city’s trash haulers. No rummaging will be allowed, and anybody caught doing so will be cited, the release added.

Outside of ReStore and Goodwill, no other local thrift stores are open to accept items, and items should not be left outside those businesses, the release said.

Athens City Council member Beth Clodfelter said in a brief interview this week that she noticed dozens of college students entering the Athens Kroger on Sunday without wearing masks or practicing social distancing otherwise, and expressed concern about that.

“Friends said they saw porch parties Friday night and this weekend, too,” she said. “The people of Athens County have done such an excellent job of staying home, social distancing and wearing masks (thank you!) that as a county we have, amazingly, held steady at three confirmed COVID-19 cases for nearly a month. That means that people in nearly every other county in Ohio have higher numbers than us, in some cases much higher numbers. 

“So as much as we appreciate OU and Hocking College students and their parents – perhaps more than ever these days – those that come in for move-out will nearly all be coming from places with more cases,” she added. “This coming weekend may see an even bigger move-out, and it could be especially important to stay home over the weekend, May 1-3.”

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