Campus News

Bowdoin's Second "Dump & Run" Sale Will Give New Life to Discarded Student Items

Story posted May 28, 2003

For the second consecutive year, Bowdoin College is participating in the national "Dump & Run" program by collecting discarded student possessions to sell at a giant "yard sale." A variety of local non-profit organizations will benefit from the proceeds.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at Dayton Arena.

For the uninitiated, Dump & Run is a waste prevention program that seeks to eliminate waste by giving new life to the good, usable items left behind by college students.

According to Dump & Run (www.dumpandrun.org), it’s estimated that the average college student generates 640 pounds of solid waste each year. In addition, colleges experience a significant spike in trash generated at the end of each spring semester as students pack up, clean out and leave campus.

Dump & Run sales go a long way in reducing the amount of “trash” that winds up at the local landfill. An added bonus is that the proceeds benefit local charities.

In 2002 Bowdoin’s Dump & Run sale exceeded all expectations, diverting 98% of the discarded student material from the landfill, and raising $11,788 in the process.

Thousands of items such as computer printers, televisions, VCRs, furniture, lamps, hairdryers, small refrigerators, sports equipment, bicycles, books, small appliances, rugs, toys, and clothing were given second lives by being rescued from the Dumpster and sold at Bowdoin’s Dump & Run sale.

The same types of items have been collected for this year’s sale. It appears that this year’s inventory is even bigger than last year’s, according to Keisha Payson, coordinator for a sustainable Bowdoin, who once again is overseeing the project.

"Usually when students pack up to go, they're in a hurry and don't have time to donate unwanted items to local establishments such as Goodwill," Payson explained during last year’s Dump & Run. "They really like the idea of diverting usable items from the landfill, but until now haven't had an easy means to do it. By collecting items right in their dorm, we've made it easy for them."

During the last few weeks of the semester, large collection boxes were placed in all College dorms and houses, with signs directing students to leave their unwanted items. Campus Dumpsters have been draped with banners encouraging students not to trash their unwanted possessions, but to leave them for Dump & Run.

The items have been collected, sorted and tagged in preparation for the June 7 sale. Proceeds will go to community non-profits that provide volunteers to help with the event.

Last year about 50 truckloads of items were collected from departing students. Ultimately, just one truckload went to the landfill. It’s easy to see how Dump & Run fits perfectly into Bowdoin’s efforts to reduce waste.

After the sale, any leftover clothing will be donated to Goodwill. In addition, toiletries, unopened food, and laundry detergent is being given to local food banks and shelters.

Information on the national Dump & Run program can be found at www.dumpandrun.org.

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