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'Donate Don't Dump:' Students pass on items amid move-out bustle

From the Gazette: Hoisting couches onto a Penske moving truck doesn’t qualify as fun for most. But when you’re doing it on a gorgeous spring day in Iowa City, with the summer and all it’s possibilities stretched out before you and awareness the furniture will skip the landfill and find good home, it can be quite nice.

“It’s extremely nice,” graduating University of Iowa student Baylie Cooper, 21, said about being able to gift her couch and love seat as part of her move-out. “If we didn’t have it, we’d probably just take it to the dump.”

Thousands of UI students like Cooper were encouraged to “donate don’t dump” in their exodus from campus this week. In its eighth year, the program aims to cut landfill waste inevitable with the large-scale moves while benefiting local agencies like Goodwill and the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

Penske trucks have been parking outside Burge, Hillcrest and Mayflower residence halls since Wednesday — when official dorm move-out began — to take items like clothes, furniture, electronics, shelves, desks and appliances to Goodwill.

“We’re getting lots of full-length mirrors,” said Beth MacKenzie, UI Office of Sustainability recycling coordinator. “Apparently the res halls don’t have big enough mirrors in them.”

What the collectors don’t accept: anything broken or dirty.

“It’s the would-you-buy-it test,” MacKenzie said.

Inside the halls, barrels and bins have been collecting donations for the Crisis Center — including perishable food, cleaning supplies and unopened toiletries.

The program, coordinated by the UI Office of Sustainability and University Housing and Dining, for the first time this year accepted bicycle donations for the Iowa City Bike Library. Collections will continue through noon Saturday — when all 6,000-plus UI residence hall students have to be out.

Since 2010, the effort has amassed more than 43,000 pounds of clothes, furniture, food and household and personal items for the local service agencies — nearly twice the total weight of all the players on the 2017 Hawkeye football roster, UI News Services points out.

This spring’s goal is to collect more than 10,000 pounds of donated items, according to MacKenzie.

“Today is going to be really busy,” she said just before noon Friday — as some of the 80-some volunteers lifted shelves onto the truck and checked out pants someone gave up.

See the complete story here.

See's also KCRG-TV's story on "Donate Don't Dump"  

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