For the past four years Suffolk University has worked with an organization called “Dump and Run”. The relationship, started by Campus Sustainability Coordinator Erica Mattison, was intended to reduce waste at the university and provide students with an easy way to contribute items as they prepare to move out of the residence halls.
Dump and Run, an organization operating out of Brookfield, is committed to helping colleges and universities with waste prevention techniques. One way of achieving this goal is extending the usability of items students no longer need at the end of each school year. The organization also sets out to create revenue for any non-profit environmental and social groups that are willing to take part in the projects. Education concerning the issues of consuming natural resources and the need to conserve them is another priority of the program.
The plan has been a success overall in achieving its main goal. “Suffolk has been able to dramatically reduce its trash output, thanks in part to the initiative,” said Mattison.
The program has also been successful in helping with local charities, such as ABCD North End, which is part of Boston’s antipoverty agency. According to Mattison, the university has contributed thousands of pounds to local charities. The accepted items include gently used clothing, shoes, books, kitchen and home goods, furniture, unused toiletries and cleaning supplies, unopened food, and gently used sheets and towels.
Mattison first heard about the program while working in Suffolk’s facilities office. “I wondered what Suffolk did in terms of getting rid of items from the dorms, and it turned out there was not any type of program for reducing waste during move out. I heard about Dump and Run and thought it was a great idea.”
The program has reached its fifth year at Suffolk and, according to Mattison, has more student participation than ever. “We have learned a lot about how to run this program and how to overcome some of the challenges, and we are very excited for the 5th annual Dump and Run,” she said.
But more help is always welcome and needed. “We need a lot of hands on deck to run the neatest, most organized program yet, so we are recruiting volunteers in early April and offering gift cards to those who successfully complete 5 hours of work in late April or early May.”
Commuter students are being encouraged to join in as well. “We are trying to provide more guidance than ever to students who live off campus and are going to be moving,” said Erica. “There are many waste reduction opportunities in that regard and we are working with OCHO and others on providing information to off-campus students.”
Lead Eco-Rep for the project, Careese Peters, is planning for a hectic few weeks. “The project is going to pick up soon and currently we are looking for reliable volunteers who will be in or around Boston around exam week to help box up items and unload goods.”
Students interested in becoming involved will soon have their opportunity, as Suffolk is planning to have its largest Dump and Run event this month. Starting on April 20 and continuing all the way through the end of the moving process, students will be able to drop off items at designated locations throughout the residence halls. Students who volunteer for five hours with the sorting and packing of items will receive a $10 gift card to the Suffolk Bookstore. To volunteer, students should email Kathleen Rooney at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 10.