Reduce, Reuse, RecycleFrom unwanted textbooks to used furniture to notebook paper, university students together diverted more than 8,725 pounds of waste from dumpsters and landfills during 2010 move out, the most waste intensive part of the academic year.

For the 3rd semester in a row, the university partnered with Better World Books to give students a way to dispose of unwanted textbooks that the bookstore cannot buy back. Huge cardboard boxes sat waiting near the book store registers. By the end of move out, they had collected 2500 pounds of books, a 40 percent increase over last year’s poundage.

Better World Books was founded in 2002 to collect and resell textbooks to fund literacy initiative at home and abroad. To date, the company has donated 2.3 million books to partner programs around the world. In doing so, they have diverted more than 13,000 books from landfills.

Residence Life and Housing played a major role in reducing waste and promoting reuse again this year. The university’s move out program, formerly “Stop, Drop and Go” was renamed “Deacs Donate” to huge success. Through this program, students donated more than 5,225 pounds of clothing, small appliances, and household goods to the Salvation Army. This amount alone was a huge increase over last year’s donation. In addition to the boxed house wares, students also donated 138 area rugs, 47 shelving units, 44 full length mirrors, 12 couches, a 16 foot ladder and an exercise bike.

In a new initiative called “Recycle Your Notes,” the Office of Sustainability interns collected 1000 pounds of notepaper from the semester in only a couple hours. This collection prevented the paper from being thrown in trash bins and dumpsters. Half-filled notebooks, with the original owner’s notes recycled, can now be reused.

Caitlin Brooks, Outreach and Communications Intern