Feature Story, Student Life

Tons of Impact

March 10, 2017 – by Katie Kuckelheim ’19

Ohio Wesleyan Class Coordinates Campus Recycling Events 

Since 2012, Ohio Wesleyan University’s student-organized May Move Out program has diverted nearly 53 tons of materials from landfills by recycling usable items when students leave for the summer.

This year, the program is expanding to include a Mini Move Out along with the larger year-end event. The Mini Move Out will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. March 22 in front of Chappelear Drama Center, where a Goodwill Industries truck will collect gently used items. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to drop off items for donation that day. The year-end dorm move out will begin May 8.

“I think May Move Out is about more than just diverting waste from landfills,” says James Ormerod ’17, student leader of the project. “It promotes a culture of thinking twice about throwing away gently used items that could be reused. We, as consumers, are so quick to throw away items if they are broken or a little old and never think twice about where it goes after we toss it in the trash.”

Ormerod and the other move out planners – all students in professor John Krygier’s geography sustainability practicum – hope the Mini Move Out helps to spread awareness of the May event.

The program was started by Sarah D’Alexander ’13 in 2012. In 2015, it received a $10,000 recycling grant from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Waste District to support the collaboration with Goodwill. Most recently, the program received the 2015 Recycling Award from the Keep Delaware County Beautiful coalition.

Eva Blockstein ’19, who is helping to organize the upcoming move out events, says she hopes students embrace the concept and participate.

“Americans as a whole produce too much waste,” Blockstein says, “and I believe that we should try to limit the amount of stuff going to landfills, and we should reuse our products as much as possible.”

The year-end May Move Out will occur from noon to 8 p.m. May 8 and May 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 10, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 14 (for graduating seniors). Collection containers will be placed in specified locations on the residential side of campus.