[Typical post-semester trash in Durham, NH, another college town.]
Dumpster divers hoping to score some awesome cast-offs at Colorado University's Boulder campus were disappointed at the end of this year's spring semester.
We've talked about the crazy amount of waste that college students generate each semester before, and it sounds like the folks at CU Boulder have decided to do something about it.
Housing administration set up drop off points in each residence for anything that could be reused from lamps to sofas to electronics. The university also teamed up with the Salvation Army, who's going to haul everything off to their donation centers.
They've even set up recycling stations for corrugated cardboard and co-mingled containers. According to Dave Newport, director of CU's Environmental Center, "Last year, we reused over 14 tons of material -- everything from stacks of jeans to computers."
There's a little bit of tension about the new program, though. Not that anyone's complaining about the donations and the recycling. What's causing some strife is the new campus policy of placing "No Tresspassing" signs on the dumpsters. In the past, end-of-semester dumpster divers would receive a warning. Now, campus police can officially cite them for trespassing.
Retired CU employee Dave Smith is not a fan of the no trespassing policy. He told Daily Camera reporter Laura Snider:
Many a year I'd be riding my bicycle home from work and I'd see whole families almost in tears with happiness that they're finding all this furniture and alarm clocks and stereos.
End of semester dumpstering was an opportunity for low-income families in the area to score some nice things they otherwise might not have been able to afford.
While the program has certainly cut down on the amount of perfectly reusable items in campus dumpsters, there's no way to ensure that everything gets donated or recycled. Why not let these families have a stab at keeping more materials out of the landfills? Isn't that the idea behind the program?