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Archive: Cover Stories

Student
Recycling Project

March 2001

by Paul Glover

Tens of thousands of students will soon leave Ithaca again, discarding millions of dollars worth of new and like-new food, clothing, and durables.

This tonnage will go direct to landfills, while thousands of lower-income Ithacans struggle to purchase these same goods.

The Student Recycling Project was founded by Erica VanEtten '92, and collected large amounts of discards in 1996 and 1998.

This year, WE ARE MEETING FRIDAY, May 11, at 7:00pm at Autumn Leaves Used Books Cafe (115 The Commons), to organize the most complete collection of these discards that we're able, this year, and to prepare for expanding the collection more every year. All are welcome to attend.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO:

  • drive trucks, anywhere between May 15- June 5.
  • provide trucks
  • pick-up goods from curbs
  • donate storage space, between May 15- June 15.
  • donate bins for street collection, May 15-June 5.
  • give permission for collection of goods from bins in their front yard/s
    (May 15-June 5). We'll guarantee prompt pick-up.
  • donate money (dollars or HOURS) for gasoline, flyers, storage, etc.
  • help sort goods collected


  • THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES WOULD BE COLLECTED: Optimally, each would have its own bins (made from refrigerator/furniture crates obtained from Thayers, Countywide, Wernicks, Sears, ICC Warehouse, Wheaton's which are weatherized with plastic):
    * ALL FOOD in UNOPENED CONTAINERS-- NO FROZEN, NO MEAT.
    Also CONDIMENTS & ROOT CROPS (potatoes, onions, beets, etc).
    * DETERGENTS, SOAPS-- no toxics like paint, pesticides.
    Refer them to Tompkins County Solid Waste Redirectory.
    * CLOTHING-- laundered, good condition. NO UNDERWEAR.
    * FOOTWEAR-- shoes, sneakers, boots, sandals, skates. TIE TOGETHER.
    * HEALTH AIDS-- vitamins, aspirin, other non-prescription. Braces, crutches, etc. Invite tax-deductible donations to Ithaca Health Fund.
    * BICYCLES (RIBS/IBAG will collect) & SPORTS EQUIPMENT.
    * MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    * BOOKS-- no textbooks, no underlined/highlighted.
    * VIDEOS, VCRs CAMERAS & CDs
    * COMPUTERS & ACCESSORIES-- working condition only
    * ART SUPPLIES & EMPTY NOTEBOOKS
    * TOOLS

    NONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
    * NO FURNITURE EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING-- lamps, stereos.
    * NO KITCHENWARE/DINNERWARE
    * NO TVs
    * NO CARPETING OR RUGS
    * NO SCRAP METAL
    * NO PAINT
    * NO PESTICIDES OR OTHER TOXICS (refer to Redirectory).

    STORAGE-- prompt removal from collection areas as often as four times daily, to:
    * City-provided depots
    * Private donated/rented warehouse space
    * West State St. storefront
    * Empty space donated on Commons
    * 203 College Ave (enclose porch)
    * basements

    DISTRIBUTION--
    * free and/or sale
    * one or several locations
    * indoor (GIAC/Southside/Women's Community Building)
    * outdoor (park/s, driveways, yards) with large kiosks for each category

    RECYCLING/DISPOSAL of unusable/unwanted goods
    * Trucking to Recycling Center/Wallace Steel/landfill-- county/city/private

    This project can become as large as our ability to obtain:
    Truckers, laborers, collection and storage sites.

    BUDGET:
    * promotion (mostly free)-- purchase flyers, radio ads
    * signage-- on trucks, bins
    * bins-- plastic covering, staples, packing tape
    * vehicles, insurance, gasoline, oil
    * t-shirts for volunteers
    * staff

    Here's an example of how another city does it.

    We need donations of large storage space, yards for placing collection bins, trucks and truckers for collection, and collection bins. For more information and to volunteer:

    Daniella Leifer email • 277-8097
    Paul Glover email • 272-4330

    If you're graduating and now have no health insurance, consider joining the Ithaca Health Fund for $100/year.