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'Ditch the Dumpster' on Earth Day

Year-end event at ASU diverts landfill waste and collects donations for local charities, non-profits

Photo of Goodwill staff inspecting waste during Ditch the Dumpster donation event

Goodwill of Central Arizona joins ASU during the annual Ditch the Dumpster donation event. Each year, ASU residence hall students donate or recycle unwanted items to benefit local charities and families in need.

April 15, 2016

Arizona State University students can collect items to “Ditch the Dumpster” beginning on Earth Day, April 22, to help local organizations and families in need. ASU residence hall students donate and recycle unwanted items instead of throwing them away.

Since 2009, ASU has partnered with local charities and nonprofits to distribute these items to area families and children. This year’s event runs through May 8.

“Ditch the Dumpster shows ASU students that it doesn't take much to make a lasting impact on the community or the environment,” said business sustainability freshman Kathryn Cuiffo. “It’s as easy as dropping off items you no longer need or want for individuals who do need and do want them.”

Campus and local partners involved with Ditch the Dumpster include ASU Zero Waste, University Housing, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Goodwill of Central Arizona, and Epic Thrift.

During last year’s residence hall move-out, ASU students collected more than 157,580 pounds of reusable or recyclable items and diverted an additional 380,800 pounds of solid waste from the landfill. According to John Purtell, donations director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, his organization collected more than 10,000 pounds of clothing. The proceeds from clothing sales help mentor eight children per year.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters and Goodwill have been outstanding partners with ASU,” said Matthew Brown, ASU associate vice president of University Housing and Dining Services. “We welcome Epic Thrift as a new partner for 2016 to help high school seniors in Tempe with need-based college scholarship opportunities.”

ASU Zero Waste estimates that 540,000 pounds of material would go to the landfill without Ditch the Dumpster.

“When packing, students can create a three-bag system to reduce the number of items that end up in the landfill: donated, recycled, and sent to the landfill,” said Katie Schumacher, ASU Zero Waste senior program coordinator. “This sorting system keeps waste separated and increases the number of items that can be reused.”

Donation bins are located in residence halls on the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West campuses. Students can donate items in bins and collection boxes within residence halls. Items accepted during Ditch the Dumpster include:

• books, hangers and storage bins
• furniture: lamps, chairs, and egg-crate mattress pads
• gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories
• larger appliances and electronics (usable or not)
• linens, drapery, towels, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals
• smaller household goods
• tightly-closed or open detergents and cleaning supplies
• unopened, nonperishable food

For more information about Ditch the Dumpster, event partners and donation tips, visit