Dumping wastes, donations save

BY LI DAI | MAY 14, 2015 5:00 AM

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Volunteers for an upgraded recycling program are trying to intercept students on their way to the Dumpster.

Donate, don’t dump, is an annual program in which the University of Iowa Sustainability Office encourages students moving out of the dorms to recycle the items in good condition they would normally throw away.

From 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, volunteers and pickup trucks sit outside Burge, Hillcrest, and Mayflower to collect donations from students.

“Donate, Don’t Dump is about diverting waste from the landfill during move out,” said Arlinda Fasliu, an intern at the Sustainability Office who is in charge of organizing the volunteers.

Fasliu said this is the first year they have expanded the collection sites, including  Mayflower, Burge, and Hillcrest, as well as upping the number of days the program is available.

It is a good chance for students to reduce the amount of waste going to the Landfill and donate items that still could be used to Goodwill.

A total of 140 volunteers are needed over the four-day move-out period. Volunteers will help load items onto trucks and encourage students and parents to donate items to Goodwill instead of throwing them away.

So far, the event has been successful.

“The first day, we got a lot of clothes and futons diverted as well as different furniture and appliances,” Fasliu said. “We also had about 94 or so volunteers, which is awesome, given the time constraints of finals week.

“We also added a new position of Dumpster informants to stand by the trash area to inform people about the Goodwill trucks and try to lessen the amount of waste that is going into the Landfill,” she said.

Most furniture, housewares and clothing in good condition are accepted. Items needing repair, broken or stained furniture and box TVs are not accepted.

“All of the donations are meant to be taken from the residence halls, so they were all from students, and during the time I was there volunteering, we had about 14 people come donate, but it is also the first day of the event and early in the day when I was volunteering,” Fasliu said.

This is the sixth year of residence halls diverting reusable items from the landfill. In 2014, more than 5,000 pounds of materials were donated or recycled, including futons, fridges, clothing, and food.

“Participation has increased,” Fasliu said. “There has been a huge increase in volunteers, marketing, and bigger involvement of staff, faculty, student government, ECOHAWKS, and students donating.”

“I wanted to volunteer because I want to keep things out of he Landfill,” said UI student Tara Slade, a Dumpster informant volunteer. “Basically, keep things from going to the Landfill that can be used by other people.”

As a Dumpster informant volunteer, Slade helps direct students with usable furniture, clothes, and appliances to the move-out truck.

“I wanted to promote the stability among the university and its appliances,” said Amanda Ickowitz, a move-out truck volunteer.

Matthew Frantz, another volunteer, said other people can choose people’s items that they donated, so somebody else can use it, and it can be very useful.

“So far it’s been a success, with a lot of ECOHAWKS getting involved, which is a new network of students, staff, and faculty, that are committed to advancing the University of Iowa’s 2020 Sustainability Vision,” Fasliu said.

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