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Collections of reusable and recyclable items will begin May 9th at the University of New Haven, Connecticut.  “Think Outside the Dumpster,” formed in February, is a new student project to reduce move-out waste. The program was developed with support from faculty advisor Professor Todd Jokl and the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing waste in campus communities.

Reusable items such as cloths, furniture, academic supplies, kitchenware, and room decorations will be collected from departing students between May 9th and 18th.  Recyclable items such as broken electronics and worn out textiles will also be collected.  Over the summer these items will be cataloged, sorted, and priced for a welcome week sale on the UHN campus on August 21-24.  

Launching this initiative in just a few short months has been an astounding effort on the part of several players including UNH students, the UNH Undergraduate Student Government Association, the UNH Facilities Department, Office of Residential Life, and Office of Student Activities.  The program has also also received considerable support from United Illuminating’s Business Sustainability Challenge and CLAS-U programs with the help of Amy Mclean-Salls of UI and Dr. Amy Thompson at UNH.  Additionally, local health food store Thyme & Season is aiding the program with free boxes to use for collections and a gift basket to be a raffle prize for one lucky volunteer.  

The day after collections conclude on May 18th, student volunteers will celebrate their work at a volunteer appreciation event to be held aboard New Haven’s own 91-foot schooner, the Quinnipiack.  The 2 hour sail promises to be an awesome culmination of a semester’s worth of hard work, but the true joy will come in August when students see all the items they collected during May move-out finding happy homes with incoming students for the start of fall 2014!