The inaugural Dump & Run sale took place two weekends ago at the newly-named Rawlings Green in front of Appel Commons on North Campus. The event was a large yard sale of items collected last May, when students moved out of their residences for the summer. Seventy percent of the proceeds raised by the sale went to Loaves and Fishes, a local organization that feeds hundreds of underprivileged people every week.
The remaining 30 percent of the proceeds were recycled back into Dump & Run, Inc., a national non-profit organization, so that similar collections and sales can be set up at other university campuses. Dump & Run, Inc. is currently at about 20 schools, including Bowdoin College, Clark University and Brown University.
Dump & Run was brought to Cornell by Lauren Jacobs ’05. “When I moved out of my freshman dorm, I was overwhelmed and disgusted with the stuff that was being thrown away. I saw someone put a mini refrigerator in the dumpster just because she didn’t have room for it in her car,” remembers Jacobs. “I heard about Dump & Run from a friend at Tufts, and I started working on it at Cornell the following fall.”
Jacobs’ work came to fruition in May, when collection bins were placed in all the campus dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses and coops. Donations were collected with help from Campus Life employees who moved the items to warehouses, where they were later sorted and stored over the summer.
Jacobs worked closely with Loaves and Fishes, which was the main beneficiary of the sale. “When Lauren Jacobs asked us to help, we helped a lot with the coordination of the sorting and presale pricing, and we got a lot of the volunteers for the sale,” said Jai Khalsa, administrative assistant at Loaves and Fishes.
Over 50 volunteers turned out for the sorting and pricing stage of the project, and another 30 worked at the sale. “The sorting volunteers were mostly community members, including some area youth groups, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and regular Loaves and Fishes volunteers, among others,” Khalsa said. Many of the 30 volunteers at the sale were students.
For the sale, there was a “tremendous turnout,” said Dale Walter, general manager of facilities operations for Campus Life. “There were many new and returning students at the sale, as well as a group of Ithaca townspeople. I was very impressed by the Cornell support for the sale,” Walter said.
The sale also helped reduce the strain on local landfills that often occurs in May. “To give an idea of the volume of the sale, we trucked in seven large loads to the sale, and were left with fewer than three,” Walter said. The leftover items were collected by Loaves and Fishes at Boynton Middle School, where a community giveaway was held the following day. All those items were free to less fortunate members of the community.
The sale was not only environmentally friendly, but it also raised nearly $8,000. Jacobs was “very happy with the sum raised.” Khalsa “had no idea what they would make,” and was very pleased with the $5,200 of the proceeds that went to Loaves and Fishes. “We learned a lot of logistical things, and will definitely be able to improve for next year,” Khalsa said.
All involved were enthusiastic about Dump & Run’s future at Cornell. Walter said the program “exceeded expectations,” and he would “definitely be working with it again next year.” Jacobs hoped that there would “be multiple beneficiaries next year” and that Cornell’s Dump & Run start “working with campus life to institutionalize it.”
Students who attended the sale also had a positive reaction to the project. “I think it’s great that instead of throwing all sorts of things out, people have a chance to recycle their usable items. It was clear that there was a lot of stuff, and I guess it’s a good sign that so much of it was gone by the time I got there,” said Jessica Rounds ’04.
Archived article by Tony Apuzzo