'Don't Trash It!' effort benefits community agencies

Led by the Office of Sustainability, a May program designed to keep clean and working items out of landfills as students leave campus helped local charities like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

Some of the food collected for Allied Churches of Alamance County as part of the 2014 "Don't Trash It!" effort led by Elon University's Office of Sustainability.
Some of the food collected for Allied Churches of Alamance County as part of the 2014 "Don’t Trash It!" effort led by Elon University’s Office of Sustainability.[/caption]An annual Elon University effort to keep clothing and furnishings out of regional landfills provided local nonprofits with thousands of pounds of housewares this spring to benefit the Alamance County community.

More than 10,500 pounds of bedding, clothing and housewares were collected in May as part of the “Don’t Trash It!” campaign that encourages students leaving campus to donate their possessions rather than throw them away as they move away from campus at the end of the semester.

An additional six truckloads of furniture and nearly 1,500 pounds of canned food were also donated to agencies that included Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Allied Churches of Alamance County and First Presbyterian Church.

“This is a great way to keep items out of the landfill, decrease Elon’s greenhouse gas emissions and positively impact the surrounding community,” said Jessica Bilecki, the university’s sustainability education and outreach coordinator, who coordinated the recent campaign.

Eight drop-off locations were established throughout campus for students, faculty and staff to donate items during “Don’t Trash It!”

“We appreciate all the efforts that went into the Don’t Trash It program,” said Habitat for Humanity ReStore manager Lillian Miles. “Receiving such valuable donations into the store provides needed revenue to help build houses in our community.”

The “Don’t Trash It!” campaign was first started by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and is coordinated by the Office of Sustainability in partnership with community agencies, Residence Life, Greek Life, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, and Environmental Services.

– Information submitted by Elon University’s Office of Sustainability