Recycle It Forward

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

charlg board diagram of a series of recycling symbols being successively multiplied

In the last five years, the University of Ottawa's Office of Campus Sustainability has partnered with the university's Housing Services to run an event called the Dump and Run. Yeah I know the name sounds silly (people usually have a prank in mind when you say dump and run) but this event is one of the most "profitable" for future uOttawa students as well as community members.

It’s kind of a pay it forward program for recycling whereby first-year students in residences leave so much stuff behind, such as clothes, blenders, books, dishes, appliances (almost new by the way), electronics, handbags and much much more, that future students or community members can come by and collect everything they could possibly need for the coming year.

So basically, every year is a recycle it forward year since frosh students have access to a bunch of stuff that comes from the students of the previous year and so on and so on. Now, this may sound complicated to understand but if any of you read this and can find a better way of saying it, please do share and I promise you will be given all the credit.

In the last five years, we have collected over 8.7 Tonnes of reusable items that have contributed to the happiness of future students as well as many charitable organizations such as the Operation Come Home, an awesome and an organization that provides food, shelter and assistance for teens on the street and the less fortunate (please take a few minutes to check out their website, they are very inspiring).

The Young Woman’s Shelter is another group. This program offers young woman aged 12 to 20 immediate access to safe housing for those who lack family support. This shelter is also a culturally sensitive environment and very welcoming of lesbians/bisexuals/transgenders. They have staffed professional and open arms. I could actually name a whole bunch of shelters we work with but this is a blog post and not a book. You can check out the list of charities we work with at the end of our annual Dump and Run Report (list of charities 2012).

As for student accesses to Dump and Run donations, the Office of Campus Sustainability has a Free Store  located at 647 King Edward which allows students to take some of the things we recover. The Free Store is entirely volunteer run by students for students and is always full of amazing stuff. We guarantee you’ll find something you want.

This year, we want to make the Dump and Run event even better than before so and we are looking for some volunteers for the event on May 1st from around 9am to4pm (you can stay as long as you like no pressure). We plan on having a BBQ for our volunteers after the day is done to celebrate their hard work. If you want to join our volunteer pool or want more information, please contact Julie or Alex. We will supply everything you need for the event.

Thanks for taking time to read about this, Alex OUT!

~ alex - assistant recycling coordinator
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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