Donation Dash Reduces Campus Waste

This May the HSU Sustainability Office and the Waste Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) hosted Donation Dash, an annual event designed to reduce waste generated by students moving out of the residence halls.

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Staff members with Dream Quest, WRRAP and the HSU Sustainability Office in front of the Donation Station at College Creek.

“It takes a lot of hard work from a very dedicated group of students and local charities to pull this thing off,” says Morgan King, HSU’s Sustainability & Waste Coordinator. “The effort pays off, though, in many ways. The campus reduces its landfill waste, the local charities get some great items for their thrift stores, and residents get to be a part of the zero waste movement.”

Donation Dash starts out at a trot but ends with a sprint to the finish. “The Sustainability Office sets bins out around campus before Closing Week to collect any re-usable items from residents preparing to move out. We get everything from clothes to cases of Cup of Noodles,” says King. Also at that time students with WRRAP provide bags and a move-out guide to residents in Campus Apartments, College Creek and Creekview Apartments. Residents in these areas filled the bags with re-usable goods and left the bags outside their doors, to be picked up later by Sustainability Office staff.

During Closing Week the Sustainability Office set up three Donation Stations on campus. Each station was hosted by a different charity – Companion Animal Foundation, Angels of Hope, Dream Quest, and SCRAP Humboldt. Residents took all discarded items to the stations, where WRRAP student coordinators and charity staff helped sort out re-usable goods and recycling from the trash. Ten tons of re-usable goods went to the hosting charities.

Humboldt State continues to be a leader in green initiatives. This spring the University Bookstore and all campus marketplaces and eateries adopted a single-use plastic bag ban. Most plastic bags are made of nonrenewable natural resources with limited recycling potential. Plastic bags are also among the most common litter items found in creek, ocean and roadside trash. The ban, which eliminates 300 bags a month at the Bookstore alone, is another example of HSU’s commitment to sustainability.