Every year, we tell ourselves, “we can’t possibly collect more things than we did last year!” And every year, we do end up collecting more things than we did last year.
Whoops, where are my manners. I didn't explain what I am talking about. The Dump and Run is an event that targets people moving out of the residences at the University of Ottawa. Our group, the Office of Campus Sustainability, organizes the collection of unwanted (but still functional) items and food to then donate them either to the Free Store (for other students to use) or to local charitable groups.
By collecting stuff what I mean is recuperating things that students leave behind when they move out of our campus residences. There are good reasons why people leave stuff behind. Some people are moving in with other people who have too much stuff, some people are going home and have no space, and some people are taking an airplane our of town – do you have room for that comforter or kitchen set in your suitcase? Nope!
This year was different. The University acquired a new residence building which increased greatly the amount of donations. We got some air time on CBC news, TFO, in the Metro newspaper, and we were on the CBC morning radio show. So much media attention (thank you for the positive stories!). This means that more people know we exist, are thinking about us, and ultimately end up donating their unwanted things.
Did I mention that we ended up collecting 10.6 metric tonnes of goods!
This is almost double our haul from last year which was 6.2 tonnes. More than 3 tonnes were donated directly to the Free Store (our donation box exploded more than once), and the rest was brought to donation tables, or left inside the campus housing spaces to be thrown out. Just on campus move-out day, we were able to recuperate and donate 1.2 metric tonnes of unwanted food to the Ottawa Mission, that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.
So this is a great time to thank Ikea for donating some awesome reusable bags that were really helpful for collecting stuff from the residences. And we can't forget the 40+ people who helped out with this year’s Dump and Run. Over the entire month, they contributed more than 1200 hours of their time!
This awesome project would not be possible without you! Thanks everyone!