By Monica Chapman
Dumpster divers aren't the only ones diverting waste from the landfills this move-out season. Starting today through June 15, Ohio University's Recycling and Refuse will once again make a big push for reuse as the mass exodus from campus gets under way.
"Now, maybe more than ever, there are people in need out there. And it doesn't make any sense to throw good things away when there are people in need," said Ed Newman, Recycling and Refuse manager at Ohio University.
Newman said the university is starting recovery efforts now to capitalize on spring cleaning during Memorial Day weekend and up through graduation. And this year, it is easier than ever to donate old items for reuse, thanks to ample collection sites and assistance from a record number of non-profits.
On campus, reusable collection sites are in place at every dumpster and recycling location. The Athens County Jr. Fair and Fair Board and the 4-H Golden Gaits Club will be collecting items from on-campus sites and reallocating them to people in need.
To combat the food waste generated during move-out weekend, food collection containers are currently in place in each residence hall lobby or main ground floor entrance. Newman said food collection containers will soon be included at each reuse collection site, as well.
Off campus, at least four drop sites will be in place between June 11 and 14 across the community. Sites will be located near the uptown Dominos Pizza, in front of Athens Middle School on West State Street, at the Seigfred Hall lot entrance on Mill Street, and on Depot Street.
The following organizations are assisting with the off-campus sites: Athens Rotary Club, Elijah's Meal, Friends and Neighbors Community Food Center, Candles for Jesus Christ Furniture Ministry, Second Harvest Foodbanks, Goodwill Industries and New to You Thrift Shoppe. For pick-ups, students may contact ReUse Industries, Goodwill or New to You.
Separate efforts are targeting university faculty and staff, many of whom take advantage of the quieter summer months for office cleaning, said Newman. Upon request, Recycling and Refuse will assist with the collection of reusable materials by furnishing university offices with collection containers. To request collection bins for office clean-up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.