CSU, Chico News

Waste Diversion Program at Residence Halls Diverts Thousands of Pounds of Reusable and Recyclable Goods from the Landfill

Date: 05-19-2010

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s award-winning Diversion Excursion program once again expects to divert thousands of pounds of reusable and recyclable goods from the landfill as residence hall students move out for the summer.

In its 10th year as a partnership between University Housing and Food Service Grounds Department and Associated Students Recycling Program, Diversion Excursion is expected to divert approximately 18,000 pounds of electronics, clothes, canned goods, furniture and other items.

As CSU, Chico students move out of the residence halls May 20 and 21, more than 160 volunteers at nine stations in the central campus as well as University Village will receive donations of goods, sort them and prepare them for new uses. Volunteers will be collecting Thursday and Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Luisa Garza, lead groundsworker for UHFS and the original co-developer of the program, said the program also accepts batteries, textbooks, magazines, office supplies, furniture and many other items as long as they are not actual trash.

The program partners with local charities and businesses to provide them with goods. Some of the recipients this year are

  • ARC Thrift Store and the American Cancer Society Thrift Store – clothing, books, dishes and other similar types of goods
  • Esplanade House – nonperishable foods, partially used shampoo, conditioner, laundry and dish soap and some clothing
  • Torres Homeless Shelter – non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and some clothing
  • Computers for Classrooms – computer items repaired or recycled for use by local schools
  • Square Deal Mattress Factory – foam egg crate bed pads to be recycled into carpet pads

In addition, AS Recycling collects cans, bottles, paper and other recyclable materials.

Housing residents are alerted to the program through informative posters, and “early move out” bins are placed in the residence halls several days early as residents start packing.

In 2006, CSU, Chico received the Sustainable Operations Best Practices award at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference at UC Santa Barbara for the Diversion Excursion program as well as the waste diversion of portable buildings removed from campus by Facilities Management.

“Other campuses have modeled diversion programs on ours. We are a leader in this area,” said Robyn DiFalco, Associated Students sustainability coordinator. Added Garza: “Diversion Excursion not only gets a positive response from housing residents, we also get former residents to return to volunteer. Our campus wants to make a statement about reuse and recycling while at the same time helping out local charities.”