Take it or leave it – but leave green no matter what.
What began as a student’s sustainability capstone project in 2015 has now expanded to a campus wide move-out program called – The Leave Green initiative.
It all started with a few select residence halls. The idea was to improve the recycling efforts of students when they moved out. The goal was to divert and donate usable materials that would otherwise end up in the county landfill. As a result of that first collection over 1,785 pounds of materials were donated to local charities.
Recognizing the program’s importance, last year Florida Tech’s sustainability office teamed up with students to make the enterprise an annual event.
So instead of dumpsters filled with trash and usable goods causing waste collection headaches and added strain on the facilities department – items were repurposed. By capturing the usable items before they ended up in the waste stream, the university was able to reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill. The items were then donated to local non-profits, providing an impact within the surrounding community.
Last year, The Leave Green initiative donated over three box truckloads of usable items to local Melbourne charitable organizations.
As a graduate student of interdisciplinary sciences, Zach Eichholz assists with sustainability projects on a regular basis.
“In 2016, the Leave Green program collected over 9,000 pounds of goods from across the campus residences which otherwise would have certainly gone to a landfill where it would sit there for decades or even centuries,” Eichholz said. “These goods were taken to CITA and sold to low income families that could really use them.”
Some of the materials collected included cleaning supplies, clothing, furniture and school supplies.
The spot to drop
Last year, Leave Green established collection areas in every residence hall community. This enabled students to drop off useable, unwanted items rather than tossing them into the dumpsters. Each collection zone was separated into four categories: small electronics and appliances, clothes and linen, home décor and utensils, and office and class supplies. The goal was to make moving out more convenient for residents. And after the two week collection period, students were able to recognize the positive impacts of their collection efforts.
For 2017, April 24th marks the start of the second annual campus wide Leave Green collection initiative.
And this year, Leave Green is hoping to collect even more goods to help more nonprofits in the surrounding Melbourne Area. Items are being actively collected from April 24 – May 7.
Help the university become more sustainable by donating usable, unwanted items to the collection efforts and help Florida Tech to reach out to the surrounding community.
Don’t dump it….DONATE IT!
Items being collected
Clean Clothes and Bedding
Electronics and Media
Household cleaning and laundry supplies
Lamps, fans, cookware, glassware
Books, Textbooks and Notebooks
Office Supplies/Classroom Materials