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Archive for Wednesday, April 29, 1998

KU SEEKING WAYS TO PUT LID ON END-OF-YEAR TRASH

April 29, 1998

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At Kansas University, the end of the academic year conjures thoughts of graduation, summertime ... and junk.

The eco-conscious battle cry ``Think Globally, Act Locally'' is never more collectively appropriate for Kansas University students than during their mass exodus each May from Lawrence.

Carpet, furniture, stereos, aquariums, beer kegs, coffee makers, clothes. Just about anything that fills a student's temporary villa works its way to curbsides and into trash cans, on and off campus.

``Last year, there was a little mountain of trash between the scholarship halls,'' said KU sophomore Mark Bradshaw, a resident of Grace Pearson Scholarship Hall and chair of community service for the All Scholarship Hall Council.

This year, campus and city leaders are waging a campaign of information and assistance, with a goal of making it easier for students to donate or find new homes for household items, keeping them out of landfills. Among their methods are to spread the word with local media and distribute pamphlets and fliers telling students where they can take their throwaways.

The problem, said Victoria Silva, head of the KU Office of Resource Conservation & Recycling, is that many students don't know of anything else they can do with their accumulations.

While trash dumping is not uncommon in Lawrence, it is more widespread when the students leave for the summer. This year, stop day, the day before finals start, is May 5. May 15 is the last day of finals.

Bob Yoos, solid waste division manager for the city, has pictures of trash bins completely covered with student leftovers -- not all of it garbage.

Newspapers, cardboard, cleaning products and other household items can be recycled or used elsewhere, Yoos said. And there are a number of places that accept donations of furniture, clothing and appliances.

K.T. Walsh, manager of the Social Service League thrift store, said everything from T-shirts to lumber are welcome.

``We'll take anything at all and find a new home for it,'' Walsh said. ``There are plenty of people out there who would love somebody else's cast-offs.

-- Matt Gowen's phone message number is 832-7222. His e-mail address is gowen@ljworld.com.

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