The Great uOttawa Dump 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

uOttawa dump and run volunteers 2017


So listen closely, because I am only going to say this once. We have some rules to go before you get started and my job is to make sure that you are all safe and that we collect as much stuff as possible.

First things first, thank you all for coming out and agreeing to help us for the 207 Dump and Run. You volunteers represent the last line of defense between us and the landfill. If we don't collect this stuff today, it will certainly be garbage tomorrow.

We are systematically going to go around to each and every residence and collect all the donations, old food, and unwanted things. The majority of the stuff you collect will be left on the donation tables in the main lobby of every building. But we won't stop there. We will move into every common room, every shared kitchen, every washroom, and collect all the stuff left behind.

If you run into other cleaning staff or Housing staff, do what they say. We have partnered with them to get this stuff out of here and we are here only by their invitation. They have final say on what we can take and what we can't.

Dump and Run volunteers outside of the residences of uOttawa

All of you will be equipped with bags and boxes to carry the stuff. We have gloves if you want and we have masks. You likely won't need them but we have them if you want them.

Now in your hast to collect things, you have to remember that safety still comes first.

  • At all times you will be paired up with a partner. Never abandon your partner.
  • Don't reach quickly into a pile of things. There could be sharp edges, knives, needles... tonnes of things that could hurt you.
  • Don't lift heavy things. We have dollies and carts for the heavy stuff.
  • Check the bottom of any box before you lift it, some boxes haven't been taped shut.
  • A lot of the elevators will be filled with people trying to move out. If you have to use the stairs, never ever carry a box down the stairs. Use the bags donated to us by Ikea. Only one bag per hand and never more weigh than you are comfortable with.
  • Keep hydrated and don't over-exert yourselves. This isn't a competition, it is a community project and so we work together and we take care of ourselves. Remember, you can take a break at any time.
  • You have the cell phone number for the team leaders. They are here to help you. If you have any problems... if someone is yelling at you, if you cut yourself, if you see something super weird... just call us.
Now remember, all the stuff we are collecting belongs to someone else. It is completely possible that someone accidentally left something behind. You will find laptops, you will find cell phones, you will find designer clothes and nice jewelry. We will collect all those items and leave them aside in case the owner comes looking for them.

A volunteer dresses up with donations to the Dump and Run

So I know what question you are about to ask me... "Can I keep some of the stuff I find?" The answer is yes. You will have the opportunity to keep stuff at the end of the day, but don't let it interfere with the job at hand. Don't drag stuff around and slow every one down. We have a full day's work ahead of us so let's not forget that.
If something you find is a little too good to be true, it probably is. We will put your name on it and if no one claims it in a couple of weeks you can keep it.

A full van donations for the uOttawa dump and run 2017

Now, if all that has sunk in... I will tell you what is going to happen after today, because you are only obligated to help out today - but we would love to have your help over the next few weeks.
  • After today we will sort all these donations. 
  • We will weigh every item so that we know how much stuff was donated (that is why you have to weigh any donation you want to take).
  • We will donate all the food we can to local charities, and everything we can't we will compost.
  • We will clean all the items that need cleaning. 
  • We will take the extra liquor bottles and we will return them for money (that's why we will collect bottles).
  • We will take that money and use it to pay for the hundreds of loads of laundry we will be doing. (That is why you will be collecting all the laundry detergent you can).
  • We will do dishes until our hands are prunes, then we will switch off with someone else and they will do dishes until their hands are prunes (that is why you will collect all the dish soap you can).
  • We have a partnership with Food Services to run dishes through their industrial dish washer (and at the same time they can collect any items that they can use in the Dining Hall).
  • We will fill boxes with stuff until they tower over us. (That is why you have to collect boxes too).
  • We will contact every charity in Ottawa and match donations to their needs.
  • Finally, we will move all the remaining boxes to the Free Store so that we have things to give away during the summer.

So once again, thank you! Without you, all this stuff would have ended up in the landfill. All this wasted potential would have contributed to a more polluted and miserable world. But because of you, a child will have toys to play with, a hungry family will have food to eat, a homeless person will have a sweater to keep warm, an immigrant family will be able to turn their house into a home; and you will have brought smiles to hundreds of student's faces.

Now... let's get to it

Results from the 2017 Dump & Run

Dump and Run infographic 2017
~jON - campus sustainability manager

You Might Also Like