CSU, Chico News

Waste Diversion Program Tops 20,000 Pounds of Reusable and Recyclable Goods

Date: 06-01-2010

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s award-winning Diversion Excursion program topped 20,000 pounds of reusable and recyclable goods diverted from the landfill for the first time in its history.

Diversion Excursion is in its 10th year as a partnership between University Housing and Food Service Grounds Department and Associated Students Recycling Program.

In 2009, the total weight of reused and recycled materials was 18,756. This year, the total was 20,488.

As CSU, Chico students moved out of CSU, Chico residence halls May 20 and 21, more than 160 volunteers took in donations of goods, sorted them and prepared them for new uses.

Donations for 2010 included:

  • More than 6,000 pounds of clothing, books, dishes and other similar types of goods to the ARC Thrift Store and the American Cancer Society Thrift Store
  • More than 6,000 pounds of nonperishable foods, clothing and other items to the Esplanade House
  • More than 5,000 pounds of recycled material diverted by AS Recycling
  • More than 1,300 pounds of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and some clothing to the Torres Homeless Shelter
  • More than 600 pounds of computer items repaired or recycled for use by local schools to Computers for Classrooms
  • More than 600 pounds of reusable and recyclable goods salvaged by custodians in the week following students moving out
  • More than 500 pounds of bed padding to be recycled to the Square Deal Mattress Factory

Luisa Garza, lead groundsworker for UHFS and the original co-developer of the program, said, “The program has grown beyond my wildest expectations. Each year the ratio of items donated changes and the weights increase. It is thrilling to know that students who donated when they lived in the residence halls last year sign up to volunteer the following year because the program positively impacted them.

“Diversion Excursion is a very challenging program to coordinate, and my cohorts Robyn DiFalco and Eli Goodsell in AS Recycling and Sustainability are excellent to work with – we make a great team,” Garza said. “Annually, I am amazed that during the last two days of finals week the students who aren’t required to participate are willing to do so – that says a lot about Chico State students!”

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.