Local organizations are working to reduce student move out waste, for both on and off campus students. (Dara Brockmeyer/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - This is graduation weekend for Illinois State University students, and for many students its move out weekend.
The town of Normal, the Ecology Action Center, the ISU Office of Sustainability, Habitat for Humanity, Home Sweet Home Ministries and Recycling Furniture for Families are working together to reduce student waste at the end of a school year.
Public Works Director Robin Weaver said each spring, thousands of pounds of waste is produced with unwanted clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances, electronics, food and more.
The EAC runs a hotline year-round, dispatching representatives of the local charities who will accept the donations. Weaver said last year was the first year the groups started collecting items.
"The other thing that's a very big difference this year is that we moved to off campus housing, where there's actually more furniture and more stuff that students have," Weaver said.
The hotline number is 309-454-3169. There are also 15 drop off sites for students to use.
Habitat for Humanity will accept appliances, building materials, electronics, and small household appliances. Home Sweet Home will accept non-perishable food, clothing and textiles, shoes, electronics, and small household appliances. Recycling Furniture for Families will accept household furniture, kitchenware, linens, working electronics and working small appliances.
The "Pass It On" program facilitated by ISU ROTC, University Housing Services and Bloomington Housing Authority also accept clothes, shoes and non-perishable food.
Weaver said the hotline service isn't for students only. She said residents can utilize it any time.
"The charities throughout the year will help to pick up," Weaver said. "Call. They may have different rules. Sometimes the charity will not pick up an upholstered or stained piece of furniture. There is also concern about pets and concerns about health issues. But, others will, so it depends on what the piece is."
Representatives will be able to help students on and off campus through May 11.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@cumulus.com.