'Ditch the Dumpster' Initiative wins President's Award for Sustainability

April 14, 2011

Year-end donation and recycling drive earns honors for diverting waste while supporting local charities.

TEMPE, Ariz.— Every year the average U.S. student throws away nearly 200 pounds of ‘stuff’ during end-of-the-year move-out from dorms and other student housing. To turn all that stuff into gold, Arizona State University (ASU) joined with Swift Charities for Children and student housing communities (Capstone Companies and American Campus Communities) to sponsor the Ditch the Dumpster project, an annual year-end donation and recycling drive.

In recognition of the drive’s mission, Ditch the Dumpster was one of the few projects to receive the 2011 ASU President’s Award for Sustainability (awarded on April 13, 2011).

Launched in 2008, ASU’s Ditch the Dumpster initiative is held at the end of every academic year to encourage students to donate or recycle their unwanted, usable items rather than simply toss them in the trash. Over the past three years, the initiative has grown exponentially and students learn about the benefits and value of recycling and reusing.

With the help of volunteers, Swift Charities for Children, Capstone Companies, and American Campus Communities, May 2010 collections totaled over 34,000 pounds of recyclable and reusable items ranging from clothes and shoes to furniture and appliances - double the amount gathered the previous year. All collected items are reused by those in need, repurposed, or recycled.

ASU team members involved with Ditch the Dumpster include University Housing, Residential Life, Grounds Services, Facilities Management, Global Institute of Sustainability, Student Engagement, Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives, and Taylor Place. Community members include American Campus Communities, Capstone Companies, and Swift Charities for Children.

About Ditch the Dumpster:
Ditch the Dumpster’s mission is to produce meaningful change: diverting waste from the landfill, supporting local non-profit organizations, and educating the ASU community about waste, recycling, and meeting social needs. For more visit: http://moveout.asu.edu.

About Swift Charities for Children:
Swift Charities for Children raises money for selected well-established organizations that provide safe, professional, efficient services for – and give hope to – Arizona’s children in need. For more visit: http://www.swiftkids.org.


Media Contacts:

Karen Leland
Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU
[email protected]

Elizabeth Curran
Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU
[email protected]