Organizers of a project at the University of Iowa say more than two tons of household items and clothes were diverted from the Iowa City Landfill last week as students moved out of campus residence halls.
Liz Christiansen, director of the U-of-I Office of Sustainability, says student volunteers collected the unwanted items.
The two-day event netted 750 pounds of clothing, shoes and linens; 1,300 pounds of small appliances such as televisions, microwaves and refrigerators; and nearly 3,000 pounds of futons, tables and chairs. The reusable materials will be distributed to local nonprofit agencies.
“These are personal belongings that have been acquired over nine months of living on campus, so some of them have not very much wear on them,” Christiansen said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for something they may have purchased in a local retail store and just don’t want to take it home and put it in their parent’s garage over the summer.”
The student waste reduction project was led by Andrea Uhl, a U-of-I senior. Christiansen says it’s an effort that’s got bigger every year. “I think we’re all excited about making sure this grows every year, so we’re able to divert more and more material from the landfill,” Christiansen said.
Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa operate similar waste diversion programs as students move out of dorms in the spring.