Anya Spear, associate director of campus planning at CSU Monterey Bay, has often been surprised by what she sees discarded during the annual rush to clean out residence hall rooms and move off campus for the summer.
“One year, a staff member found a brand new vacuum cleaner in the trash,” Spear said. “In the past, so many reusable items have been thrown away that people from off campus came to rummage through our dumpsters.”
But more than appliances get tossed aside. Clothing, furniture, lamps and microwave ovens are haphazardly thrown in dumpsters when they could be donated to organizations that serve the community.
With that in mind, Spear has partnered with GreenWaste, the university’s waste hauler, and Hope Services, which collects electronic waste and reusable items to support its programs and services for people with developmental disabilities, for CSUMB’s fourth annual zero waste move-out program, taking place May 9-18 on main campus.
Students in the Main Quad residence halls can purge their unwanted belongings May 9-12; North Quad residents can do the same May 16-18. A smaller event is scheduled for May 24 and 31 in East Campus housing areas.
Last year, more than 80 percent of what was disposed of during move-out week was recycled or reused – 5.8 tons of recyclable materials and 1.3 tons of reusable materials were recovered.
“Let’s aim for zero waste this year,” says the pitch for volunteers to monitor stations for recycling, donation and waste and perform a variety of other tasks. To volunteer, sign up here or e-mail event manager Max Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org
The California Department of Resource Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) requires CSUMB and local jurisdictions to report and reduce waste going to landfills every year. To meet that requirement, CSUMB began composting food waste from campus dining facilities, added new yard waste collection bins in East Campus homes and improved recycling facilities last year. Despite these efforts, 1,352 tons of waste was sent to landfills; 455 tons of material was recycled.
Top photo: Event manager Max Lorenz works at 2012's move-out
Bottom photo: Chalk drawing reminds people to recycle