|Submission Date||May 11, 2021|
Saint Michael's College
IN-49: Innovation C
|0.50 / 0.50||
Director and Instructor
Center for the Environment; Education
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
The Ditch the Dumpster campaign is an ongoing but expanding effort to reduce the amount of waste generated by students during move-out and to “re-home” items in good condition with local non-profits and other organizations, as well as to re-use them on campus. The extent and outcomes of Ditch the Dumpster have expanded significantly since its inception in 2015. This year, for example, planning began in early fall semester, with a broadly representative group from Student Life, Facilities, EcoReps, student GreenUp club and our new Center for the Environment. The committee has met throughout the school year, and we are expecting a robust event in a few weeks that will divert significant amounts of items from the landfill. For example, this year's event will have sites for centralized donation sites throughout campus, strategically placed next to residence halls and dumpsters (in order to divert students before they put things in the dumpster). Each site will have at least one volunteer from our campus community, ready to label and organize the items into bins. The sites will be in place beginning the last day of class and through Finals Week and Commencement. We have maintained historical annual tonnage for each campus area and will collect even more precise data this year in order to improve our program for next year.
Arrangements have been made with several local organizations, including ReSOURCE (a 501c3 organization), which will be sending trucks to remove donated items on a daily basis. ReSOURCE will be washing all donated sheets, towels and blankets and will donate the clean items they can’t sell to Vermont Refugee Resettlement. ReSOURCE will also be accepting half-used laundry soups, shampoos, and personal cosmetics and will repackage them in kits to give to local shelters for survivors of domestic violence.
The food items will be divided up to our MOVE food shelf partners. In addition this year, our own Campus Store has agreed to take mini-fridges, microwaves, fans, mirrors and lamps. They will store them, clean them and make them available for incoming students next year. The funds received will be used to support a green fund for future sustainability efforts. We will monitor all of these items so that we can have an accurate measure of waste diverted.
The following items will be diverted from taking up space in the landfill:
--Small Household Items (Includes dishes, baskets, lamps, art supplies, school
supplies, pots and pans, vases, brooms, small appliances, toasters, coffee makers etc.)
--Furniture and Large Household Items (Couches, chairs, fridges, tables, rugs, microwaves, lamps, small side tables, etc.)
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
We have about 100 student, staff, faculty volunteers on board to help divert usable goods from the dumpster, by educating, and by being a visible option to donate goods before they reach the dumpster. We are working very closely with ReSOURCE Vermont and many community partner food shelves that are eager to work with Saint Michael's College in this environmental effort to save tons of goods from the landfills. We are in place to measure the amount of diverted/recycled goods as a result of this initiative.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.