CSU, Chico News

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

Date: 05-23-2013

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 13th year as a partnership between the University Housing and Food Service (UHFS), Grounds and Landscape Services, and the Associated Students Recycling Program, Diversion Excursion is expected to divert more than 20,000 pounds of electronics, clothes, canned goods, furniture and other items.

As CSU, Chico students move out of the residence halls today and tomorrow, May 23 and 24, more than 140 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 items between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Luisa Garza, lead grounds worker for UHFS and the co-developer of Diversion Excursion, 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 Esplanade House, accepting nonperishable foods, partially used shampoo, conditioner, laundry and dish soap, and some clothing; Computers for Classrooms, accepting computers repaired or recycled for use by local schools; and Square Deal Mattress Factory, accepting foam egg crate bed pads to be recycled into carpet pads. All of these recipients have worked with Diversion Excursion since the beginning of the program.

New recipients of goods from Diversion Excursion this year are Corning Hope Rescue Mission, Oroville Hope House and Migrant Education.

In addition, AS Recycling collects cans, bottles, paper and other recyclable materials as part of the program.

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

The mission of Diversion Excursion is to educate residents about the differences between reusable goods, recyclable goods and actual trash, and encourage them to volunteer for the program the following year.

The City of Chico modeled its Drop and Dash program after Diversion Excursion, with two drop-off dates for diversion for residents: Tuesday, May 28, and Wednesday, May 29. The two drop-off locations are Orange Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets and West Sacramento Avenue and the corner of Cedar Street.