UA's 'Dodge the Dumpster' program aims to cut waste - Tucson News Now

UA's 'Dodge the Dumpster' program aims to cut waste

Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Graduation for University of Arizona students is just a few days away, and as thousands of students move out they leave behind a lot of unwanted items and trash - which can pile up in Tucson's neighborhoods.

But a campus program called “Dodge the Dumpster” is taking action to divert the waste.

“The more we throw out – the larger our landfills get,” UA Office of Sustainability student, Michael Beauregard said.

Instead of tossing out shoes, UA students are taking proactive steps to make move-out day a way to recycle.

“We see microwaves and fridges and so many great usable things – just get thrown away. All of it – just pitched,” UA Green Team staff member Jill Burchell said.

Throughout this week until Friday, May 12, Jill Burchell and fellow UA Green Team members are sorting student’s unwanted items into clearly marked bins in an effort to keep them from overflowing trash receptacles and to show students the items can still be utilized.

“Last year, which was our pilot year, we only did five halls and we were able to collect over 18,000 pounds that would have gone to the landfill,” Burchell said.

This program is welcome news for neighbors living near the university who told Tucson News Now every May illegal dumping becomes a real issue in their alleys.

“It’s frustrating. It really is ugly and then when some people leave stuff then other people feel they can leave stuff and it just accumulates,” Jefferson Park resident, Joan Hall, said.

This year the program will take place in 15 of the residence halls located in the Park and Highland Districts. Once the collection week wraps up the Green Team plans to donate the items to local charities. They will also re-sell items to the public at a low cost during the Wildcat Welcome Rummage Sale on July 29.

Last year the team donated 2,159 pounds of bedding, towels and clothing to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 1,028 pounds of food was given to the UA Campus Pantry and toiletries were given to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program among other donations.

“We’re hoping to give these things a new life,” Burchell said.

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