City and partners work to keep U of M campus neighborhoods clean during move-in days

With students returning to housing around the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus, City solid waste crews are ramping up efforts to keep the university neighborhoods of Marcy Holmes, Southeast Como and Prospect Park clean. They are encouraging students who are moving out to take advantage of the University’s new Pack & Give Back program, which provides convenient options to have bookcases, tables and other unwanted but usable items dropped off or picked up and saved from being trashed. 

Pack & Give Back is a unique collaboration between the university, City and County staff, residents, and local non-profits that addresses the issue of excessive garbage being left behind by outgoing tenants. The program is the result of a work group started by City Council Member Diane Hofstede, which includes City Solid Waste and Recycling and Regulatory Services, the University of Minnesota District Neighborhoods residents, students, rental property owners, Dinkytown businesses, Hennepin County, the University of Minnesota, and non-profit organizations. 

A pilot project began successfully last May, with more than 59,720 pounds of reusable items removed from the waste stream. This fall’s move-out is expected to be even bigger. All saved, reusable items are made available to students and nearby residents at no cost through The ReUse Warehouse,883 29th Ave. SE. 

In addition to the program, City crews are making extra trash pickups in the campus neighborhoods. The effort is aimed at collecting the mounds of throwaways left by departing students as quickly as possible. The accelerated cleanup will let crews clean up any piles of garbage as soon as they’re spotted. This year, City crews will also be picking up usable items and delivering them to the university’s ReUSe Warehouse in efforts to quantify the amount of usable items being thrown away.  The City hopes its efforts will encourage a non-profit to step up and collect usable items next year.

For more information about the Pack & Give Back program, go to www.facm.umn.edu/about/central-services/reuse/packandgiveback.

Published Aug 29, 2013