CSU, Chico News

Volunteers Divert 12 Tons from Landfill Following Campus Housing Move-Out

Date: 05-29-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Gloria Torbeck, Associate Director
University Housing and Food Service

Volunteers from California State University, Chico’s University Housing and Food Service and Associated Students (AS) diverted nearly 12 tons of waste from the local landfill when students moved out of campus residence halls earlier this month.

Throughout the week of May 11, more than 100 students, faculty and staff rerouted 23,874 pounds of food, clothing, bedding, mats, school supplies and household goods to recycling centers and area nonprofits, including Goodwill and the Jesus Center in Chico. Their work was part of the 15th annual Diversion Excursion (DE), a program collaboratively managed by the AS and University Housing and Food Service with support from the Institute for Sustainable Development.

“Diversion Excursion is an excellent example of what sustainability means to this campus—it’s about conservation, reuse and reducing environmental impacts in a way that engages students and staff,” said Campus Sustainability Coordinator Fletcher Alexander. “DE is all about taking opportunities for positive social and environmental impact, and is a clear demonstration of how hundreds and thousands of small actions add up to a very meaningful difference.”

The following goods were diverted:

  • 18,642 pounds of clothing, baskets, bedding, books, bicycles, back packs and other home goods was sent to Goodwill; foam mats were donated to the Chico Housing Action Team, a nonprofit serving the area’s homeless.
  • 2,092 pounds of recyclables was collected by AS for recycling (paper, glass, plastic, aluminum and compost).
  • 1,440 pounds of food was donated to the campus’ Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.
  • 965 pounds of food was donated to the Jesus Center.
  • 735 pounds of cardboard was collected by Recology for recycling.

DE was started in 2000 by a CSU, Chico student with support from housing and food services and the AS. The Institute for Sustainable Development became involved more recently. The program is unique in that it involves hundreds of volunteers, many of whom return year after year, and thousands of campus residents, Alexander said.

“DE directly benefits a range of community organizations working to help those with limited resources and has become a model for similar programs on other college campuses,” he said.

Learn more about the event through the Institute for Sustainable Development, and more about the Associated Students by visiting www.aschico.com.