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Ditch the Dumpster program saves items from landfill


April 26, 2011

President's Award for Sustainability: 2010 Ditch the Dumpster program

The 2010 Ditch the Dumpster program stemmed from ASU’s first large-scale effort during the spring of 2008 residence hall move-out to divert reusable items from the landfill. This was accomplished through a partnership with Swift Charities for Children, a non-profit organization that raises money and supplies for Arizona-based children's organizations.

In 2010, an expanded core committee representing nine ASU departments and Swift Charities for Children redesigned Ditch the Dumpster efforts via better marketing, more student input, and additional convenient donation locations. Specific goals and a well-thought out strategy enabled us to increase the amount of items donated in 2010 by 140 percent from 2009’s endeavors and 242 percent from 2008’s inaugural efforts.

In 2008, 9,975 pounds of usable goods were donated, increasing to 14,233 pounds in 2009. The 2010 program brought in 34,199 pounds.

The Spring 2010 Ditch the Dumpster efforts not only surpassed the original goal of 25,000 pounds by more than 36 percent, but led to the establishment of numerous permanent collection locations and a greater awareness about the program. Donations and supplies from the sale of the goods benefited local charities including The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus House of Refuge, and St. Mary’s Food Bank.

ASU Team members:

• Rebecca Reining, Sustainability & Strategic Initiatives, University Housing.

• Amanda Bowling, Student Engagement.

• Alex Davis, Center for Student Sustainability Initiatives.

• Elizabeth Kather, University Housing, Residential Life.

• Andrew Latimer, Center for Student Sustainability Initiatives.

• Jacob Meltzer, University Housing, Residential Life.

• Jehnifer Niklas, Office of University Sustainability Practices, Global Institute of Sustainability.

• Dawn Ratcliffe, Grounds Services, Facilities Management.

• Michelle Schwartz, Communications, Global Institute of Sustainability.

• Tim Smith, Residential Life Maintenance & Operations, Facilities Management.

• Eric Tank, Center for Student Sustainability Initiatives.

Community Partners:

• Nathaniel Fish, Taylor Place, Director of Operations.

• Mario Flores, Swift Charities for Children.

• Francisco Melchor, Swift Charities for Children.

• Amanda Smith, Swift Charities for Children.