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University of Iowa News Release


May 16, 2011

Photo: UI students Emil Hannesson and Zach Carter load a futon during the Year-End Move-out Donation Drive. Both are members of the student project team that organized the waste reduction effort.

UI move-out donation diverts more than two tons of reusable items from landfill

More than two tons of household items and clothes were diverted from the Iowa City Landfill, thanks in part to a University of Iowa student sustainability class project May 11 and 12.

As UI students and their parents loaded cars and trucks with personal belongings acquired over nine months of living in campus residence halls, student volunteers were happy to help carry and collect unwanted items that could be reused.

"I was really impressed at how organized the students were," said Jennifer Jordan, recycling coordinator for the City of Iowa City. "Their efforts were able to divert thousands of pounds of reusable materials to local agencies and most importantly, keep these items out the landfill."

The student waste reduction project was led by Andrea Uhl, a senior who will pursue a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the university this fall.

"I am so happy that our class project was able to make the university a little bit more sustainable," said Uhl. "I was also so pleased by how excited everyone from the community and the university was to help us make this happen!"

Uhl and her team members brought together representatives from Goodwill of the Heartland, Habitat Restore, the Crisis Center, UI Housing, UI Office of Sustainability and UI Facilities Management. The two-day event netted 750 pounds of clothing, shoes and linens; 1,300 pounds of small appliances such as televisions, microwaves and refrigerators; and more than 2,900 pounds of futons, tables and chairs that will be distributed by the local nonprofit agencies. Items were collected near Burge Hall and Quadrangle Hall.

"The commitment of these students to the environment and to the community is tremendous," stated Dana Engelbert, vice president of marketing for Goodwill of the Heartland. "Goodwill is very fortunate to be among the recipients of their work."

"This was a great effort by our students that sets a standard for next year," said Liz Christiansen, director of the UI Office of Sustainability.

"Finals and move-out is such a busy time on our campus. It's impressive that UI Housing and the students made it a priority to reduce waste."  

The 2020 Sustainability Targets include a 60 percent waste diversion goal for the University. For more information about the UI 2020 Vision, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Liz Christiansen,, 319-335-5516

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500