Back Print

Luther College achieves 50 percent reduction of waste goal during move out week

Posted: Mon, Aug 6, 2018 8:54 AM

Luther College continues to reduce waste each year during move out week.

Students reduced their waste by five more tons than move out week last
year, achieving the goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2018 for move out waste diversion. Students achieved 56% reduction of waste from the 2013 baseline.

When Luther students move out, the population in Winneshiek County drops by 12%. In an effort to be more sustainable and reduce the amount of trash disposed by the county, Luther students are encouraged to use the large recycling receptacles on campus and donate items they don't need. Student coordinators, volunteers and Green Iowa AmeriCorps members donated more than 450 hours of labor during move out week.

This year, the college donated nearly 1,600 pounds of food to the First Lutheran Food Pantry, and in one day composting efforts diverted around 50 pounds of organic matter that would have been thrown in the garbage.

In addition, Luther students filled 10 18-foot trucks with books, school supplies, decorations, bedding, clothing, rugs, furniture, electronics, toiletries, household wares and more to the Depot Outlet and Spectrum Network. Batteries and cell phones were collected to be properly recycled through the college's E-waste recycling program. New this year, textbooks were collected for TRIO's Lending Library program.

"'Move Out Mindfully' has become a way of life for students, with more student involvement from everything to volunteering to learning how to recycle and what can and cannot be donated," said Luther food and farm fellow Sarah Forsyth.

Luther's efforts during move out week were organized by the college's Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates sustainability initiatives at Luther. The mission of the center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.