FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mary Arman, Public Works Operations Manager
“FREE” ITEMS ON THE CURB = POLLUTION IN SANTA CRUZ
UCSC Students Asked to Avoid Annual Move-Out Sidewalk Dumping and Choose to Donate to Local Non-Profits Instead
Each June during the student move-out season, the curbs of Santa Cruz are filled with TVs, mattresses and furniture with “FREE” signs attached. Unfortunately, while some of these items may find a new home, many end up in illegal campsites, nearby waterways or other undesirable places. This June, UCSC students living off-campus in the City of Santa Cruz can instead donate their usable unwanted items to Hope Services and Goodwill or have them hauled to the landfill through a free pick up program run by the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC Good Neighbor Initiative.
UCSC Good Neighbor Interns are leading their fellow students to become involved in the collection event. They designed and distributed a flier picturing an old couch dumped in the woods headlined: “Help Prevent This.” UCSC student leaders from the Student Environmental Center, Education for a Sustainable Living Program, Sustainability Office and Waste Reduction Coordinators are helping to design and promote the pickup, along with City staff. Thirty-two students signed up for the program within the first hours of its announcement and momentum is building.
Student donations of reusable textiles, electronic waste, furniture and other household items this June will benefit social programs of Goodwill Industry and Hope Services. Through donation programs like these, Hope Services is able to “assist more than 2,500 children, adults and seniors with developmental disabilities” and Goodwill is better able to fulfill their mission to “…help people with employment needs become successful….”
“Illegal dumping” is what the City of Santa Cruz’s Resource Recovery Division of Public Works calls trash left out on the street or sidewalk. During spring, Resource Recovery crews may haul up to 10 unanticipated loads a day of such discarded items. City staff is collaborating on organized collection events as a more manageable alternative. The City’s spring 2013 Bulky Item Appliance Pick up on May 15 collected 503 appliances, bulky items, mattresses and electronic items from residents.
The UCSC’s Good Neighbor Initiative, City of Santa Cruz Public Works, Hope Services and Goodwill Industries are collaborating for the first time this year on a UCSC Off-Campus Move Out & Donation Drive Collection program. If you’re not moving, you can help keep your neighborhood clean by spreading the word. If you know a UCSC student moving out of a Santa Cruz home this June, ask them if they have signed up for a free move out pick up and send them to www.cityofsantacruz.com/UCSCMoveOut.
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Mary Arman with City of Santa Cruz, please call her at (831) 420-5162.