Students encouraged to reduce waste by donating unwanted items

by Marketing & Communications,

When students depart campus for summer, they don’t always consider the fate of their unwanted items. As a result, they tend to leave behind massive piles of usable stuff, ranging from desk lamps to bedding.

In past years, the Panhellenic Council (PHC) has helped address this issue by selling mini fridges, electronics and other covetable articles to raise funds for Greek life.

Leftover items were donated to community organizations or thrown in the trash.

Now, in the interest of more efficiently reducing waste and serving the community, the PHC is working with the Sustainability Institute, Facilities Services and Residence Life to combine the rummage sale with an expanded move-out donation program on May 11, 13 and 14.

“There can be a mad dash to get home at the end of the year, and students don’t always know what to do with their things,” says Marin Harris ’16, PHC vice president of administration. “We’re providing them with an avenue to donate these items instead of throwing them away.”

Joe Abraham, director of the Sustainability Institute, says student and employee volunteers will accept all unwanted goods at three donation stations. Then volunteers from the Union Gospel Mission in Salem will pick up acceptable items from campus, organize the donations and give them to people in need.

“Students need easy access drop-off points,” Abraham says. “We hope this year we see a marked increase in donations, which will hopefully help Facility Services with the whole move-out process.

"For the first time, we are also tracking trash and recyclables that leave campus, which will help us determine ways we can improve next year."

Students are encouraged to donate office supplies, furniture, bicycles, clothing, bed linens, electronics and other kitchen and household items that can be reused. All other items should be recycled or thrown in the trash at the drop-off sites.

Donation stations will be set up in the “echo circle” by Westwood Hall, the Kaneko parking lot, and the University Apartments parking lot, which will be serviced from noon to 3:30 p.m. each day. The University Apartment station will also operate on Monday, May 18.

Students can also leave reusable items in the white bins inside the dorms, the contents of which will be sent to the mission on May 14.

• Article by Emma Jonas ’15, creative writing major

Willamette University

University Communications

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