As housing upgrades proceed around campus, demolition of Morrill Hall has already begun. After the last students checked out this Spring, Housing and Surplus removed the furnishings that they are able to reuse or resell, but this left many pieces of furniture and several hundred mattresses that were destined for the landfill. That is where the Office of Sustainability steps in! In conjunction with our community partners, we were able to rescue 394 mattresses, 34 dressers, 25 bedside tables, 20 loft beds with desks, and 15 tables.
Through our Zero Waste initiatives, the Office of Sustainability aims to reduce landfill waste by 90%. This reduction can come from reducing new items purchased, promoting the reuse of items through donation, and recycling what is at the end of its life. Many people think that the only option for use mattresses is landfill disposal, but these can actually be recycled and, in some cases, donated.
Through our partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA, addressing issues of need on our campus and in our community is one of the best ways to keep items from being wasted. We believe that these practices will allow UTto be at the frontline of waste reduction and community service.In the future, we hope to build our policies and partnerships to allow for more initiatives like this to take place!