From: David Winters, Watertown Daily Times
Published May 6, 2005 12:00 AM

University Initiative Urges Students Not to Dump Usable Items

CANTON, N.Y. — Anna N. Larson noticed her freshman year that St. Lawrence University students were leaving overflowing trash bins, frequently discarding usable items in their rush to leave campus.


She hopes the inaugural SLU Re-Use Initiative will encourage students to reconsider tossing their clothing, refrigerators and televisions before departing for home.


"We are trying to avoid having stuff going into the Dumpster," said Ms. Larson, a senior psychology major from Bedford, Mass.


A collection trailer has been set up for students to drop off items until commencement May 15. The trailer, staffed by student and faculty volunteers, will be on the quad across from Gunnison Memorial Chapel for the next few days and will then be moved closer to the senior residences. An oscillating fan, several books, numerous bags of clothing, nonperishable foods and chairs had already been donated.


"We have been collecting goods that are normally thrown away by students," said senior Kassandra L. Hardy, a double major in environmental science and government from Stillwater, Saratoga County.


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The program's goals are to keep usable items out of landfills and create an awareness of the impact of environmental conservation, Ms. Larson said.


The student initiative also helps several community organizations and creates an environmentally friendly campus. The clothing and furniture collected will be donated to several organizations, including the Canton Neighborhood Center, Church and Community Program and Renewal House. The remaining items will be sold to students returning in the fall, with the proceeds covering the expenses of the initiative.


The university has embraced the program, with the facilities operations department volunteering time and space for the initiative, officials said.


"I think it is a win-win situation," said Anne Marie K. Townsend, project director of the David Garner Center for Collegiate Volunteerism.


Several other northeastern U.S. higher education institutions, including the University of Vermont at Burlington, Vassar College, Colby College, Skidmore College and Middlebury College, have similar programs, Ms. Larson said. She learned of the concept while visiting family members at Middlebury College and thought it could be tailored to SLU.


"It keeps items out of the landfill and helps the students who don't want to move them across the country," SLU spokeswoman Macreena A. Doyle said. "We are very proud of our students to have the initiative to do the initiative."


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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News


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