Cashing In

College Students Annually Repeat Recycling Bonanza




When Lisa Heller Boragine discovered that college students moving out of their dorms dump tons of perfectly good stuff that wind up in landfills, she organized her nonprofit Dump & Run. Now, schools across the country are corralling leftover belongings and getting them into the hands of people who will give them a second life.

She recently helped Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, organize a collection drive and sale that netted more than six tons of items from departing students. Clothing, food and bedding went to local charities. Mini-fridges, desk lamps and plastic storage containers were sold to incoming students, with proceeds benefiting on-campus sustainability efforts.

Boston College’s Cleansweep program makes it even easier; students simply leave their excess stuff in their rooms, to be collected by volunteers. Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, prefers to focus on generating cash for charity via massive yard sales, one of which recently yielded $40,000.

“It’s a win-win-win,” remarks Keisha Payson, Bowdoin’s sustainability coordinator. “The housekeepers like it because there is less stuff to deal with; the community likes the great bargains; and students like it because they feel bad about putting stuff in the dumpster.”


For information, visit DumpAndRun.org or call 508-579-7188.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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