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San Marcos invited to recycle, assist needy through 'Pack It Up, Pass It On'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 10, 2010

Pack It Up and Pass It On, the annual recycling event at Texas State University-San Marcos that allows students and the community to donate usable items that would otherwise go to landfills, is under way.

The San Marcos community is invited to support the university’s largest recycling “reuse” event that diverts more than seven tons of items from area landfills and helping their needy neighbors through the annual “Pack It Up and Pass It On” program.

Local residents are asked to join Texas State students in a community-wide “spring cleaning,” getting rid of usable items and getting them in the hands of local residents who can use them.

“It’s time to clean out your closets and garages and donate your unwanted items in good condition to your less-fortunate neighbors,” said Mel Ferrari, president of the Texas State Residence Hall Association and incoming president of Associated Student Government.

The Texas State Community Relations Department and the Department of Housing and Residential Life have teamed up with United Way of Hays County for the ninth annual “Pack It Up and Pass It On” program that provides on-campus residents a way to “recycle” items they no longer need to needy San Marcos residents.

Community members can bring their unwanted items in good condition to the LBJ Student Center Ballroom on May 17-19 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or call 245-9645 to make arrangements for earlier delivery to a storage POD on campus.

This year, student workers are collecting items from the halls, thanks to a grant from the university’s Environmental Service Fee committee, which funds several other “green” activities, such as the Bobcat Blend recycling program and the E-Waste event.

A new pilot program that is working with off-campus multifamily communities and Greek organizations will capture items from students living in San Marcos.

“We’re thrilled that Cabana Beach has stepped up to be a part of Pack It Up. We hope to show that working together, we can reduce the waste stream from off-campus student housing and increase donations to local needy residents,” said Porterfield.

Cabana Beach is please to be involved, said manager Renee Cavazos. “It’s a win-win for Cabana Beach. We’re glad to offer this program to our residents. Giving back to the community is important, and diverting usable items from our dumpsters is good for the environment,” Cavazos said.

Other supporters of the program include the PODS corporation, which supplied a free storage POD for the off-campus pilot program and a discount on other services.

Collection barrels have been placed in each residence hall lobby and university apartment complexes. Texas State students donate clothes, shoes, books, carpets, linens, kitchen items or anything else reusable and in good condition until final move-out May 13.

The Texas State Residence Hall Association conducts a food drive benefitting the Hays County Area Food Bank during the same period, collecting donation from students as they move out of residence halls.

“Working together, on-campus student residents provide hundreds of pounds of food and thousands of good items for local residents who can really use the assistance. It’s also great that we are able to divert so much from landfills,” said Ferrari.

Pack It Up focuses on the “reuse” of the three recycling R’s—reduce, reuse and recycle, ” said Community Relations director Kim Porterfield.

“It’s true recycling. Pack It Up and Pass It On matches unwanted items that students normally throw away at the end of the semester with local needy citizens who can use them,” she said.

Volunteers and student workers help sort the collected items and place the items in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom at the Texas State University campus, which is set up into a giant “garage sale” atmosphere where United Way of Hays County agency clients can “shop” for free.

Volunteers are needed for sorting on Monday, 17-Wednesday May 19 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Thursday, May 20 at 6 a.m. for the distribution.

Off-campus students, as well as community members and university employees are invited to bring their unwanted items in good condition to the LBJ Student Center Ballroom on May 17, May 18 or May 19 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

To find out how you can help with this year’s “Pack It Up and Pass It On,” call Texas State Community Relations at (512) 245-9645 or visit www.txstate.edu/community.