Schnoor Sustainability Class Making a Difference

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

By George McCrory
University of Iowa Office of Sustainability

Students living in the University of Iowa residence halls can help reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill at move-out by participating in the UI Year-end Donation Drive Wednesday-Thursday, May 9-10.

Students can drop off furniture, clothing, housewares, and other items at trucks from Goodwill of the Heartland at these locations and times:

  • West Side: Wednesday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Grand Avenue, near the Pharmacy Building behind Quadrangle Residence Hall Courtyard
  • East Side: Thursday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Clinton Street near Burge Residence Hall
  • Mayflower Residence Hall: Thursday, May 10, from 3 to 7 p.m.,back parking lot

The effort, inspired by the Sustainability Systems class taught by Jerry Schnoor, Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering, is organized by UI Housing, Office of Sustainability, City of Iowa City, Goodwill of the Heartland, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the Crisis Center of Johnson County. The Crisis Center is collecting nonperishable food, unopened hygiene items, and cleaning supplies in the lobby of each residence hall during move-out week. The ReStore accepts small appliances such as microwaves and mini-fridges.

"Each year, I tell the students in my Sustainable Systems class that I'm not interested in just another design report for their semester-long projects," Schnoor said.  "Rather, I want them to actually accomplish something to make the campus or community a more sustainable place.  That is a tall order to accomplish in only a 15-week semester.  But many of them come through with something really pretty novel and impressive each year."

The donation drive is one of the successful projects from last year.

Andrea Uhl, a graduate student in the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning, started the move-out collection drive last year as a project for her Sustainable Systems class.

“Last year we collected just over 6,100 pounds," says Uhl. "We’re shooting for 10,000 this year. We have a much better location on the Westside (moving to the Quad courtyard), and we added a location at Mayflower.”

Click here for a full list of acceptable items. For questions or to volunteer, contact Uhl by email or at 712-898-1567.