Category: CANR Facilities

The CANR yard sale was an effort to reduce landfill waste by repurposing items across the college.

College-wide effort to reduce, reuse and recycle

February 14, 2024 Written by Molly Schafer | Photos courtesy of Kyle Kokoszka

In an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle unwanted items, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) held the first-ever Great CANR Clean Out this winter. The college-wide effort resulted in more than 10,000 lbs of trash, 75 percent of which will be recycled.

“We were surprised at how much participation we had,” said Kyle Kokoszka, coordinator of college facilities and planning, who spearheaded the two-week event.

Kokoszka’s colleagues, Taylor Van Duyn and Mary Morris, were integral to the event’s success.

More than fifty people responded to Kokoszka’s initial interest survey. Respondents had a variety of requests, from shredding confidential documents to removing hazardous chemicals. To facilitate the CANR Clean Out, the Facilities team coordinated with UD Movers, Environmental Health and Safety, and Central Archives.

“The CANR Clean Out was a great example of coordination, communication, and community,” said Karen Roth Aniunas, associate dean for strategic initiatives and planning, who praised the effort. 

“For years, we’ve observed offices and other spaces stuffed with past-their-prime items, spaces used for storage instead of their intended purpose,” noted Aniunas. “Perfectly good items were thrown in the trash in one department while orders for office supplies or furniture were made in another,” she continued.

To find homes for those unwanted items, Facilities hosted a college yard sale. If one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, there was a goldmine on hand: unwanted office supplies, old Ag Day t-shirts, and even sewing machines. Everything was free. 

“No questions asked,” said Kokoszka. “If you can carry it, you can have it.”

Seventy to eighty percent of yard sale items found a new home with UD faculty and staff.

The CANR Clean Out occurred at the perfect time for New Castle County Cooperative Extension. A 4-H program relocated, storage spaces overflowed, and staff needed office space. Michaella McCreery, administrative assistant, said her office cleared an entire closet, creating much-needed storage space and freeing up additional office space. After the CANR Clean Out, many in her office feel more productive. 

“Gaining storage helped us be better organized and less stressed,” said McCreery. 

The response from CANR Clean Out participants was overwhelmingly positive. Kokoszka feels confident there will be another CANR Clean Out in the future.

“We sent 79 boxes containing confidential documents for secure shredding,” recounted Kokoszka. “We sent 35 pieces of furniture or equipment surplus, and four rolling bins’ worth of electronics were sent for recycling.” 

Delaware-based company First State Roll Off will haul the 60 cubic yards of trash collected during the event to a facility where it can be sorted and recycled. According to the dumpster rental service, their service includes recycling or repurposing over seventy-five percent of the garbage they receive.

“The CANR Clean Out is a great example of sustainability and stewardship of resources and facilities,” emphasized Aniunas. “It would be wonderful to see other examples of this ripple across the campus.” 

Kokoszka has advice for anyone organizing a cleanout: make it as easy and free to participate. 

“Many people don’t know the processes to follow to remove items,” Kokoszka elaborated. “We provided the service at no cost, and we made it easy. We delivered boxes and rolling bins right to their office.”

Trash collection bins in the Townsend Hall Commons
During the Great CANR Clean Out, 61 bins were filled during the two-week event.

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