Archive for Friday, July 31, 2009

Annual migration under way

As area leases expire, possessions get sorted, packed, sold or dumped

Karl Gustke, left, and his friend Shawn McMahon set a couch down next to a Dumpster on Thursday after discovering it wouldn’t fit inside. Thursday was moving day for many people, especially Kansas University students, as rental leases neared their expiration date.

Karl Gustke, left, and his friend Shawn McMahon set a couch down next to a Dumpster on Thursday after discovering it wouldn’t fit inside. Thursday was moving day for many people, especially Kansas University students, as rental leases neared their expiration date.

July 31, 2009

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Lacy Lincoln, a KU graduate from Wichita, tries to figure out what to do with a lamp that she can’t fit into her SUV on Thursday morning.

Lacy Lincoln, a KU graduate from Wichita, tries to figure out what to do with a lamp that she can’t fit into her SUV on Thursday morning.

Broken pool tables from parties past, duct-taped armchairs, Tiki torches, and couches handed down from grandparents line the alleys of Lawrence this time of year as many college students make the annual switch to new apartments or homes.

For those moving, it’s time to shed unwanted items. For ambitious scavengers, it’s a chance to find some interesting stuff. For the Lawrence Public Works Department, it’s a lot of extra work.

Movers

The main question for those moving: What to take and what to toss?

Kristin Wark, who graduated from Kansas University in May and is moving to Mission, said she tries to avoid throwing away items on moving day.

“I try to palm it off on my friends,” said Wark, who was also able to sell her futon on Craigslist. It’s a cycle of recycling she’s familiar with, she said, having been the recipient of leftover furniture in previous years.

Recent KU School of Law graduate Ben Sharp is moving to St. Paul, Minn., and he was trying to shed some items before the long trip north. Sharp said he knows people gear up for moving day and are looking for items in good condition.

“I put it on the street,” said Sharp of unwanted items. He said the sofa he put on Tennessee Street went quickly.

Scavengers

Lawrence resident Rick Bowman peruses the stuff Sharp and others put on the streets, alleys, or next to a Dumpster, in hopes of finding something valuable or useful.

“I’ve seen some pretty nice TVs, computers,” said Bowman as he checked trash bins in an alley near campus.

But he said he thinks the bad economy is even affecting what people are throwing out.

“This year they’re not throwing away as much as usual,” said Bowman, who has been browsing the campus area during busy moving times for the past few years.

The great cleanup

Craig Pruett, a field supervisor for the city’s Solid Waste Division, said the city’s crews will be working for about the next week and a half cleaning up the extra stuff left behind during the moving.

During that time, he said the crews concentrate on student areas, and field supervisors survey local apartment complexes determining whether they need to make an extra stop.

“Our goal is to blanket the town,” he said.

Bowman said that the extra work is just part of the job working in a college area, but movers can do things to make their job easier. Bowman suggests leaving large items next to the Dumpsters and neatly organizing and packaging leftover items that won’t fit in the trash bins.

Another option, said Linda Lassen, program director at the Penn House, 1035 Pa., is to avoid the Dumpster completely and donate items in good condition to a charity such as hers.

“We do have people in need that’d be happy to get anything,” she said, adding that items can be dropped off anytime at their facility. “It’s always nice for people to do.”

Comments

mrf 5 years, 8 months ago

Did you find any good items? And can you remove the picture of the snake from the homepage? That freaks me out...

wysiwyg69 5 years, 8 months ago

why couldn't the city or ku find a big parking lot or space that is not being used and let people take their items there for people to rummage through. Then after a specified time period, have a city, county or ku use a loader to dump the leftovers into trash bins!

ksdivakat 5 years, 8 months ago

Is it illegal now to go dumpster diving for that stuff? I thought I read a couple years ago that the city put the kabosh on it???

somedude20 5 years, 8 months ago

They had the garbage men out and about picking up stuff as I left for work at 7:45 am today. They picked up some good stuff that I would have taken as well. Great, more competition......

1029 5 years, 8 months ago

"why couldn't the city or ku find a big parking lot or space that is not being used and let people take their items there for people to rummage through. Then after a specified time period, have a city, county or ku use a loader to dump the leftovers into trash bins!"

Well, oftentimes the deciding factor in parting ways with a piece of furniture is because it's just not worth it to transport it somewhere else--if it's going to mean making another truckload or whatnot. That's kind of the point in leaving furniture outside by the dumpster--so that you don't have to deal with moving it somewhere.

alm77 5 years, 8 months ago

Here's my solution: The city already prints up these glossy color info flyers every month and puts them in my water bill, so why not make July's mailing a couple sheets of stickers (3x5) that say FREE. Then people could put those on items that are in fair condition and the trash truck could skip them for a week. If you're not moving, give your stickers to someone who is, or use them throughout the year when you clean out your garage, etc.

gccs14r 5 years, 8 months ago

How about putting the stuff on freecycle a month before you move so you don't have to deal with it all at once?

Dumpster diving is supposedly illegal in Lawrence, but I think they use selective enforcement.

alm77 5 years, 8 months ago

gccs, excellent idea!! We would probably have to do some sort of campaign or something to get that info out there. I often forget Freecycle even exists.

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