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Student ‘Move Out’ presents the opportunity to recycle tons of items – literally

Posted in NEWS on Friday, April 30th, 2010

[Originally published in MyVU]

Photo by Steve Green

Vanderbilt students are moving out of their residence halls. This process can generate a lot of discarded items, such as linens, futons, small chairs, bedding, small drawer sets, mini-fridges, microwaves, lamps, TVs, computers, books and clothing.

Rather than have all of those items end up in dumpsters and eventually the landfill, Vanderbilt partners with a number of nonprofits to collect and reuse the items.

“Our primary focus this year was to deepen our relationships with our trusted donation partners as well as streamline the donation process for both students and the staff responsible for collecting the donated items,” said Amanda Dickes, residential education area coordinator.

The partners and their collection areas are:

  1. ARC of Nashville: Cole, McGill, McTyeire, Tolman
  2. Dismas House: Highland Quad & Towers West
  3. Thriftsmart: Vandy/Barnard, Towers East, The Commons (save Murray House), Branscomb and Kissam Quad
  4. Mending Hearts: Murray House
  5. Salvation Army: Three PODS are placed across campus to collect donation items from students.

“Move Out is a great opportunity to keep reusable items out of the waste stream,” said Jennifer Hackett, Vanderbilt University recycling coordinator. “Working together with our nonprofit partners ensures the items get recycled and used again.”

To help streamline the process this year, some of the high traffic areas (such as the Towers) will be turned into donation centers. Extra bins have been ordered, and the lounges in the residence halls will be turned into areas where students can self-sort their items. All five of the nonprofit partners will also provide volunteers to collect items daily.

For more information on VU’s sustainability programs, please visit www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu

Contact: Missy Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS

Move out is coordinated by Residential Education, Facilities, Plant Operations, and the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office.

Dismas House is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to provide transitional housing and support services to men and women who have been recently released from prison or jail. Dismas House provides a unique form of crime prevention by working with at risk individuals to integrate them with community volunteers, college students, and staff.

The Arc of Davidson County provides services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 20 Middle Tennessee counties, through a contract with the Tennessee Department of Mental Retardation Services Medicaid Waiver Program.

ThriftSmart Stores, America’s first franchised thrift store, offers a retail thrift store concept to create jobs, serve the poor with an affordable shopping opportunity, and support local charities with 100 percent of the profits, while re-cycling gently used clothing and household items.

The Salvation Army is one of the world’s largest providers of social aid, well known for its evangelical, social and charitable work. In addition to community centers and disaster relief, the organization does work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people. The Salvation Army seeks to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs, but its ministry extends to all, regardless of ages, sex, color or creed.

Mending Hearts is a residential recovery-oriented therapeutic community for women who are or are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of their addiction to drugs, alcohol or both. Many of these women have spent time on the streets as prostitutes, time in our jails as prisoners and time under bridges and on park benches as homeless people. These women are ready to set their lives straight, address their addictions and become law-abiding, tax-paying productive citizens again.

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