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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Campus recycling program established

Published: April 20, 2007
Section: Front Page

A collaboration of clubs and administrative offices announced this week the reestablishment of an abandoned recycling program that collects usable products and food from students. The program is expected to reduce the University's waste output as well as cut down on disposal fees.

The Dump & Run program, established in 2000 and based in Brookfield, MA, is a non-profit organization that was created to reduce the amount of waste generated at Colleges and Universities, according to the organization's website. Dump & Run was sought out by a coalition of Brandeis groups, including Students for Environmental Action (SEA), Waltham Group, the Community Service Department, the Department of Residence Life, and Facilities Services, to help reduce the waste generated by students at the end of the current school year.

The group will place boxes in dormitories for students to donate old items that they would have ordinarily throw out. There will be locations in every dorm on-campus to drop off goods, Stephanie Sofer '09, the general coordinator of SEA and the homeless coordinator for Waltham Group. We will be collecting between May 7th and the 11th.

Typically, schools have yard sales at the beginning of the fall semester to sell the used products to incoming students and the neighboring communities.

Bowdoin College, which incidentally, only has 1,600 students…reached a whopping $40,000 during last year's Dump & Run yard sale, commented Lisa Heller-Boragine, the head of the Dump & Run organization. Cornell University raised $20,000. Following this trend, Sofer said, we are aiming to do a yard sale [at Brandeis] in the future.

This year, if there is enough student interest, we are considering holding a yard sale on campus in the fall. This is pending administrative approval, and would tentatively be held on the community service day in September, stated Heller-Boragine. If we don't receive approval for this, we will donate the collected material to area sales, and use the proceeds to benefit various nonprofits, including Dump & Run outreach and educational resources.

In 2003 and 2004, the project existed on-campus, but was only run by students and the Dump & Run organization. Ultimately, the project failed due to a lack of student support. Last time around, we didn't have enough resources or student interest to have a sale on campus, so the material was simply donated to the Clark University sale in Worcester, and sold to benefit Service for Peace, a nonprofit service organization that raises money for international peace efforts, said Heller-Boragine.
However, Dump & Run remains optimistic about this year's program. With students more fully involved, the operation should run more smoothly.

The idea to reestablish the program originated from Sofer's project for the American Studies course Greening the Ivory Tower. Sofer said the project program to collect usable trash from international students in Ziv, Ridgewood, and Village went really well.

Members of the Administration seemed as enthusiastic as the students. We're most concerned with the environment, said Diane Hannan, Brandeis Community Services Director, who is helping run the program. Furthermore, she added, the project would not only reduce Brandeis' environmental damage, but I'm sure Brandeis will save money in disposal costs.

Hannan also expressed the same level of optimism as Heller-Boragin. The project is not setup for failure.

The cost of running the program is nominal, according the Sofer, thanks to volunteer labor and materials donated by Facilities Services. One of the most instrumental players in this project has been Dennis Finn [supervisor of ground and vehicle maintenance for Facilities Services], who has provided us with most of the materials necessary for the project.