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Otterbein Dumpster Drive for Charity

Otterbein Dumpster Drive for Charity

“It won’t fit in the car.”
“I don’t need this anymore.”
“What do I do with all these Ramen noodles? With my new job, I’ll be making real meals!”

There are a number of reasons that students throw out reusable items when they move out. But faculty and staff volunteers are partnering with local charities to put those reusable items into the hands of people who need them during the annual Dumpster Drive for Charity, April 24-May 1.

Organizers are providing multiple opportunities for students to donate their unwanted reusable items.

There will be boxes in residence hall lounges for students to drop off donations at their convenience starting on April 24. Additionally, dumpsters will be set up as a One-Stop Sort-and-Drop station, with boxes marked for different reusable items, as well as an area dedicated to furniture.

Special collections will be made to benefit Otterbein’s own Promise House.

Faculty and staff volunteers will sit near residence hall dumpsters during student move-out days starting April 26 to help keep reusable items out of the dumpsters, sort those items into boxes, and donate them to local charitable organizations.

The results of the annual event speak for themselves: hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food along with truckloads of furniture, clothing and toiletries are donated to non-profit organizations such as WARM (Westerville Area Resource Ministry), Amethyst Women’s Shelter, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, the Otterbein Thrift Shop, Promise House and others. All while reducing the amount of move-out waste headed to landfills.

Associate Professor Kerry Strayer, the organizer of the Dumpster Drive, calls it a “short term, low effort, high impact faculty service project.”

The Department of Nursing faculty volunteers their time and the Department’s laundry machines to launder as many as 40 loads of clothes, sheets, towels and pillows each year, which are then donated to charities.

“When students move out of the dorms they throw away many usable things, most often items they just can’t fit in their cars,” Strayer said. “We try to make sure the items never end up in the dumpster.”

Reusable items include:

  • Food in packages (oatmeal pouches, granola bars, canned food, ramen noodles, etc.)
  • School and office supplies
  • Bedding, curtains, rugs, towels, etc.
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Furniture, lamps, décor, other home goods
  • Appliances – fans, vacuums, hot pots, microwaves, refrigerators, etc.
  • Cleaning supplies (even if open)
  • Personal care items – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, feminine products, etc. (even if open)

If you are interested in volunteering for a shift, sign up online