Campus News

2004 Dump and Run Sale Sets New Record

Story posted July 17, 2004

Bowdoin College's 2004 Dump and Run sale set new records, as an estimated 100 truckloads of cast-off student possessions were diverted from the landfill, and $23,386 was raised for local charities in the process.

Dump and Run is a waste-prevention program that keeps many of the good, usable items left behind by college students out of Dumpsters and local landfills. The items are collected, sorted and tagged, then sold at a giant yard sale.

Proceeds go to local non-profit organizations. In the case of the Bowdoin Dump and Run sale (now in its third year), proceeds are divided among community non-profits that provide volunteers to help with the event.

Organizing Dump and Run is a huge undertaking, and could never be pulled off without the volunteer force. This year, volunteers worked a total of 1,590 hours.

The local organizations providing Dump and Run volunteers, and receiving a portion of the proceeds, are Community for Coffin (Coffin School), Merriconeag School, Coastal Economic Development, Bath Knights of Columbus, Seventh Day Adventists, Harpswell Island PTO, 55 Plus, Sweetser, Time Dollar Network, Daughters of Isabella (both Brunswick and Bath), Paw in the Door, Pejepscot Historical Society, Bath Elks, Midcoast Cheerleaders Association, UUC Church, Our Lady Sodality, Feminist Spiritual Community, Habitat for Humanity, Brunswick Trinidad Sister City Association, Solar Ovens for Tanzania, Youth Meeting House & Skate Park, Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, IAAP Midcoast, Eagles Wrestling Club, Maine Women's Fund, Divine Mercy Prayer Group, and Red Cross.

Members of the campus community also played an important part in pulling the event together. The Housekeeping staff transported items from all the dorm rooms to the central collection area. The Athletics and Grounds departments made Dayton Arena available for the sale and Grounds brought 80 tables into the rink to display the items.

Bowdoin's Dump and Run has become an eagerly awaited event throughout the community. Described by Down East magazine as "the biggest yard sale in Brunswick" (May 2004), bargain hunters call the college months in advance to confirm the date, and this year began lining up at the door at 6:45 the morning of the sale.

The reason for the excitement? Great bargains on perfectly good items as varied as computer printers, televisions, stereos, furniture, lamps, hairdryers, mini-refrigerators, sports equipment, bicycles, books, dishes, small appliances, and name-brand clothing. Every year the sale also includes a few dorm-dweller possessions that almost defy explanation, like a wading pool and a matador costume.

These items find second (or even third and fourth) lives with new owners, and literally tons of material is diverted from the landfill.

While Bowdoin's Dayton hockey arena was packed with items at the start (and overflow items were brought in as space became available), little was left when the sale ended mid-afternoon June 12.

Some of the leftovers still found their way to new owners. The remaining books are being shipped to servicemen and women in Iraq. Clothing was donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Coastal Economic Development took the leftover shoes. Toiletries, unopened food, and laundry detergent were rounded up and given to local food banks and shelters.

The only items that wound up going to the landfill were broken furniture and other damaged items that simply could no longer be used.

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