Donation campaign encourages students to give back to community

As residents move out of Taylor Place, they have the option to participate in the "Ditch the Dumpster" campaign by donating old items rather than throw them away. (Stephanie Snyder/DD)

For Taylor Place residents, the move out process begins shortly after the semester comes to an end and their final exams are finished.

In order to provide students with a way to give back to the local community as they move out of dorms on all four campuses, ASU started an effort to encourage students to recycle items they no longer need.

The Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU launched the fourth annual “Ditch the Dumpster” campaign on Earth Day, giving students until May 16 to donate their old items instead of throwing them away.

Donation sites are set up at residence halls, including Taylor Place. The donated items will be given to charities that will help underprivileged individuals across the Valley.

Sustainability and Strategic Initiative Coordinator for University Housing Rebecca Reining said students should donate whatever they can.

The charities “will take virtually everything,” Reining said. “If there is not an immediate need for the item, they will store it.”

The goal for this year is to collect 75,000 pounds of donated items compared to last year’s collection of more than 34,000 pounds, according to the campaign website.

Journalism junior Tracey Corenman, who lives at Taylor Place and works as a community assistant, said there is a donation bin located near the Taylor Place Dining Hall.

“If students have something to throw away, most should know they can throw it in the (donation) box,” Corenman said.

Taylor Place residents are expected to move out of their room within 24 hours of their last final exam, according to the move-out packet from Taylor Place. The first day of final exams was May 5.

Swift Charities for Children, a nonprofit organization that helps children and other needy individuals in the Phoenix area, is one of the charities receiving the student donations. Swift will take lightly used clothes, shoes, linens as well as many other items, according to the organization’s website.

Swift Charities for Children set up donation boxes on campus in the fall semester to get students comfortable with recycling, vice president of marketing and community relations Amanda Smith said.

“We place our donation boxes near dumpsters so when students throw away items they will hopefully know recycling is an option,” Smith said.

Swift will accept basically everything and there are many things students do not realize can be recycled, Smith said, including half-empty containers of laundry detergent, large items of furniture and broken computers.

Instead of throwing away old computers and other electronics, Swift will work with other charities to recycle the product in an environmentally safe way, Smith said.

Corenman said there have already been some television sets donated by Taylor Place residents.

Corenman also said she agreed that the Ditch the Dumpster program was accessible by most students, but said there is room for improvement.

“I think having boxes on every floor would urge students to use (the program) more,” Corenman said.

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