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More than 5,000 items collected in third annual ‘Lighten Your Load’ drive

More than 4,000 articles of clothing, more than 1,000 miscellaneous items and two truckloads of food were collected and donated to local charities, shelters and flood victims when WKU’s Housing and Residence Life, Sustainability and Recycling partnered again on the third annual “Lighten Your Load” move-out collection drive.

Containers were placed in all residence halls, and students living in these buildings were encouraged to lighten their loads by donating unwanted but usable items as they packed up for the summer.

Collected items include (but are not limited to) clothing, food, linens, furniture, appliances and electronics, books, school supplies, and other dorm-room essentials. Overwhelming participation in this initiative requires a full week of dedication by Sustainability, Recycling and HRL student employees, staff members and volunteers. All items must be sorted according to quality, usability and destination and much must be washed before donation.

Before this tradition began, much of this usable stuff was thrown in the dumpster. This project allows WKU not only to reduce waste and associated costs, but to foster and maintain community partnerships and charitable practices. This year, food was given to hungry children through the “Cans for a Hungry Heart” food drive, household goods to the Windover Place Apartments flood victims, and clothes to the Salvation Army and Goodwill. It is not just the human residents of South Central Kentucky that benefit — linens are donated to the Humane Society and provide bedding for dogs to make their stay a little more comfortable.

The partnership will continue this fall with the fourth annual M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan move-in cardboard collection drive, where more than 14,000 pounds of cardboard are expected to be diverted from the landfill-bound dumpsters.

If you would like to get involved as WKU works to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, contact Recycling Coordinator Cristin Lanham at recycling@wku.edu.

Contact: Christian Ryan-Downing, (270) 745-2508.

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