Give and Go Green collects record number of donations

Gabriela Ojeda, sustainability intern and  Jerry Alvarez, sustainability student employee collect donations for the Give and Go Green initiative.

Gabriela Ojeda, sustainability intern and
Jerry Alvarez, sustainability student employee, collect donations for the Give and Go Green initiative.

In May, the Give and Go Green initiative collected a record 17,232 pounds of items ranging from furniture and clothing, to electronics, small appliances and other household items. The items will be donated to Goodwill.

The Give and Go Green initiative, started by the Office of University Sustainability in 2011, is a waste reduction and charity program geared to help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills during Spring check out of the residence halls. For the past two years, Goodwill has provided three stationary trailers during residence hall move-out week. Once the trailers are full, they are weighed and swapped out for new ones.

“We decided to donate to Goodwill for a couple of reasons,” said Alexandra Dutton, assistant director for the Office of University Sustainability. “It is a great organization that helps people who may otherwise be jobless and gives them training and work, essentially helping them help themselves. Second, they provide us with stationary trailers where students can drop off their items. Before, we had bins in each residence hall lobby that we would have to empty multiple times a day. With the growth of the program, we didn’t have the manpower nor the space to accommodate this option.”

The Give and Go Green initiative has grown every year with the support of Housing and Residential Life and Housing Facilities. Compared to its first year where 3,000 pounds of items were donated, donations have increased by 474 percent. The initiative has reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by donating more than 41,000 pounds of items.

Administrative Operations Manager for Housing and Residential Life, Janet Branch, is currently in the middle of another major donation from Panther Hall. About 1,200 items will be given to local charities including Women in Distress, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. This year, the office has also added a non-perishable food collection, which amassed more than 250 pounds of food for the FIU Food Pantry, which helps students in need.

“The initiative helps keep items out of the landfills and puts them back to good use in the local community,” says Branch.

Donations are accepted from all FIU students, faculty, staff and the local community during move-out week. One trailer is located next to University Towers, another is by the residence hall parking garage at Parkview Hall and the third is placed on the grass in front of Building A at University Apartments. The trailers are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are managed by a Goodwill employee to help sort through the items as they are dropped off.

-By Amanda Graham