San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 9th, 2010
Students’ trash becomes locals’ treasure through Pack It Up, Pass It On

SUBMITTED REPORT

Pack It Up and Pass It On, the annual recycling event at Texas State University that allows students and the community to donate usable items that would otherwise go to landfills, is under way on- and off- campus.

Community members and students can bring their unwanted items in good condition to the LBJ Student Center Ballroom 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17 to 19, with the free shopping day to be held May 20.  Student workers are currently collecting items from residence halls on campus, funded through a grant from Texas State’s Environmental Service Fee Committee.

Currently in its ninth year, the program diverted more than nine tons of items from area landfills last year to people in need throughout the local community.  Local residents are furthermore encouraged to join Texas State students in the community-wide effort by taking usable items and putting them into the hands of local residents who can use them.

“Pack It Up focuses on the ‘reuse’ of the three recycling R’s—reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Kim Porterfield, community relations director.  “Pack It Up and Pass It On matches unwanted items that students normally throw away at the end of the semester with local needy citizens who can use them.  It’s true recycling.”
New to this year’s event is a pilot program working in conjunction with Cabana Beach apartments in San Marcos.  The goal of the program will ultimately be to expand Pack It Up and Pass It On into off-campus, multi-family housing within the surrounding community.

“Off-campus housing ends up with overflowing roll-out dumpsters around move out time.  That can often end up in parking lots and the surrounding neighborhoods,” Porterfield said.  “We know the program makes environmental sense.  We want to find if it makes financial sense too.”

Also coinciding with the Pack It Up and Pass It On event, the Texas State Residence Hall Association will conduct a food drive benefitting the Hays County Area Food Bank, collecting donations from students as they move out of residence halls.

Sponsors of this year’s event include the Texas State Community Relations Department, the Department of Housing and Residential Life, the United Way of Hays County, the PODs Corporation and Cabana Beach apartments.  Volunteers are being sought for sorting May 17 and 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and volunteers for distribution are needed May 20 at 6 a.m.

For information, to volunteer or to make arrangements for earlier delivery to a storage POD on campus, contact Texas State Community Relations at (512) 245-9645 or visit the website here.

— FROM TEXAS STATE NEWS SERVICE/ALEC JENNINGS

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