CSU, Chico News

Diversion Excursion Diverts Thousands of Pounds from Local Landfill

Date: 05-11-2011

Joe Wills
Luisa Garza
University Housing and Food Service
Robyn DiFalco
AS Recycling

Thanks to the efforts of staff and students in California State University, Chico’s Housing and Food Services Grounds Department and Associated Students Recycling, thousands of pounds of waste will be diverted from the local landfill as students move out of the residence halls.

The annual Diversion Excursion will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20. Eight volunteer tables will be hosted at the University Housing and Food Service residence halls.

Diversion Excursion is a sustainable program designed to capture donations from the 1,600 University Housing residents as they move out, and to educate them about the differences in reusable goods and trash.

Many students are unaware that the large majority of everything they intend to throw away can be either recycled or reused. The program collects non-perishable food, clothing, shoes, sports equipment, books, office and school supplies, partially used shampoo, conditioner, lotion, laundry and dish soaps, linens and a variety of other items that many residents don’t want to take home with them at the end of the semester.

One purpose of this event is to divert reusable and recyclable materials from the landfill to help comply with the mandated state waste reduction law, which requires all state facilities to reduce waste. Last year Diversion Excursion diverted more than 20,000 pounds of reusable and recyclable goods from the landfill.

A second purpose is to donate goods back into the community. All the donations are collected and sorted at the campus and University Village Grounds shops and then delivered to several local charities and businesses for recycling. Diversion Excursion partners with charities such as ARC Thrift Store, Esplanade House, Computers for Classrooms, Square Deal Mattress Factory, Nor Cal Waste Systems and Northern Star Mills.

A third purpose is to get student volunteers to participate in a good cause. The program recruits up to 160 volunteers by word of mouth, information tables and class presentations. These volunteers will sort through reusable items and provide the needed assistance to divert the approximately 20,000 pounds of goods.

In 2006, Diversion Excursion won the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s award for Innovative Diversion. The city of Chico also modeled the Drop and Dash program after the Diversion Excursion program.

For further information, please contact Luisa Garza, 898-4039, lgarza@csuchico.edu; Robyn DiFalco, 898-5033, asrecycle@csuchico.edu; or visit www.csuchico.edu/sustainablefuture/studentActivities.