Once the stress of finals week comes to a close, students can donate their old bed sheets, clothing and furniture rather than dumping it in a landfill.
Amy Preble, waste diversion coordinator at the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, said residence halls will have donation stations as part of the OWRR program, “Don’t Ditch it. Donate it!”
Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers is a long-term substance abuse treatment program. People who enter the primary program stay for at least two years during which they participate in vocational training, live on TROSA’s campus and are provided with everything from food to medical care, said Jeff Stern, director of business operations.
Stern said the program has grown tremendously since its founding in 1994, and it now serves an average of 500 residents at a time.
Microwaves, irons, men’s shoes, and silverware are just some of the items always in demand, Stern said. TROSA sells other items they don't have a pressing need for in their thrift store, which generates revenue supplementing donations to fund the program.
When in doubt, Preble said students should put unwanted items in the donation stations. TROSA separates out what it cannot use or sell, and OWRR handles recycling these objects.
If students choose not to resell their textbooks, Stern said TROSA’s participants greatly appreciate educational materials.
Preble said there are some exceptions: food can be composted, and paper and other obvious recyclables can simply be tossed in the recycling bin. In addition, broken furniture should be placed beside the donation stations.
Blair Pollock, solid waste planner at the Orange County Solid Waste Department, said students can bring compostable food waste to the Solid Waste Convenience Center on Eubanks Road or the Carrboro Farmers' Market.
It is often the case that anything not broken can be reused, Preble said. TROSA can clean carpeting even if students think it is unusable, but it must be dry.
For students not living in a dorm, Pollock suggested that students take unwanted items to nearby thrift shops.
For batteries and other hazardous household waste, Preble said that residence halls should have a bucket behind each community desk. If not, she said students can report this to their community director to make sure they can safely dispose of potentially dangerous materials.
Pollock said hazardous household waste like cans of bug spray, toasters, burnt-out fluorescent lamps, batteries and anything toxic or flammable can be brought to the recycling center at Eubanks Road starting May 1.
“Your default for everything except breakables – in other words, we don’t want any glasses or dishes – but otherwise, your default is the waste and recycling center at Eubanks Road,” Pollock said.
Pollock said past recycling efforts around move-out time have been received well by students, and bins have been filled with reusable but unwanted clothing and materials.
“When people are presented with the opportunity and given good info and a little bit of coaching like what happens on campus with the move-out and the dorms, there’s a good response to that,” he said. “That combination of convenience and good education really counts for a lot for towards the basic motivation of folks.”
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