The University Record, May 21, 2001

Departing students leave behind 10 tons of household goods

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

When the 10,000 students living in the University’s 15 residence halls moved out this spring, they left behind 10 tons of “stuff.”

This “stuff” included household items, towels, blankets and sheets, foam mattresses, pillows, rugs, shoes, clothing, and food. Anxious to see these goods made available to community agencies who could use them, University Housing and Waste Management Services encouraged students to recycle.

Containers were provided in which students could leave the reusable items they wouldn’t be taking home for the summer. The containers were collected by Waste Management Services, and the contents were sorted, weighed and readied for pickup by agencies such as Food Gatherers, Purple Heart, Scrap Box, Recycle Ann Arbor’s Reuse Center and U-M student organizations such as KnitWits, along with a community group called Caring Quilts, turns the collected bedding elements into bedrolls for the homeless.

This year’s move-out recycling efforts resulted in 20,010 pounds of goods available for reuse. That tonnage included 2,279.5 pounds of shoes, 8,572.5 pounds of clothing and 3,478 pounds of unopened food.

“We’re very excited to see that students made the choice to donate their unwanted goods rather than trash them,” said Sarah Archer, coordinator of Waste Management and Recycling Services. “Thanks to the hard-working teams in Waste Management Services and University Housing, we have made a great contribution to our community.”

A service that practices what it preaches, Waste Management Services, in its recent office refurbishing, installed carpeting made from recycled plastic soda bottles. It also has desk chairs made from recycled plastics.

For more information on the U-M’s recycling efforts, visit the Web at www.recycle.umich.edu.