pic: Karibou WAI


One of 1189’s community service projects this year was collecting the still-usable school supplies, such as binders and notebooks, that are always thrown in the trash during locker cleanout. We had a slight miscommunication with the school this year, and they ended up dumping all of the bins into an unused dumpster. Several team members got permission from an assistant principal to skip a class period to sort through the dumpster. This is me throwing out one of the many trash items that we found mixed in with the paper and binders.

I just want to bring attention to the dedication that this takes. Dumpsters = Disgusting! Seriously, you couldn’t PAY me to jump into one without me first dousing it in gas and burning off the first dozen or so layers of filth. You are a braver person than me :stuck_out_tongue: Though in all seriousness, you really should be wearing some sort of gloves and long pants and sleeves. I know it was pretty nice the last couple days but the last thing you want is to get a cut in an environment like that.

You win cool points.

Now that’s dedication. I am definitely not awesome enough to sift through trash to get school supplies; I’m way too germophobic for that. Wow.

Nice job, Kara.
You guys were awesome. :slight_smile:
Can we definitely plan this again for next year?

If we had known that we’d be digging through a dumpster, we WOULD have worn long pants and sleeves…but we were limited to what we were already wearing (and I REALLY didn’t want to swelter in the sun with my hoodie o.O). We probably could have asked for gloves, but umm…we were a little too absorbed with the hype of what we were about to do. However, when we did find food/unknown not-nice items, we did find alternate ways to take care of it (the most common of which was to grab an excess of paper, scoop it up, and unceremoniously throw it away while saying “This is disgustinggggg…I can’t believe we’re actually doing this!”) ::safety::

Thanks for the cool points : I’m not sure what really motivated us to do this; it might be because it was our first somewhat-big community service project since any of us had joined the team, and we wanted it to actually not fail >.<

This day was AMAZING!!!<3

(Where are MY cool points? I PLANNED THIS!)

shares cool points ::safety::

Can you share a little bit about what your team objectives were in doing this, what you plan to do with the recycled school materials, and how you obtained permission from the school administrators?

Actually, this project would make an excellent white paper if you haven’t already written one regarding it.


The general idea was that it would be a nice way to help the community and recycle at the same time. We’re hoping to donate the school supplies to either a charity or needy school or something to that effect.

Nathan, I’ll shed more light when we’re done today.
Let me handle it bro.

That is some serious dumpster diving there…

Well here’s the background story…
At the end of the 2007-2008 school year, a friend of mine and I walked the halls of our school and saw the trash bins overflowing with binders full of unused paper, unused notebooks, and perfectly functional binders. Both of us having rocky financial situations in our homes, we decided to find boxes and carry as many unused items as we could find back to our houses. We recycled all the old handouts and used papers in the binders, and made duct-tape covers for binders that had been written on. We ended up with thirty perfectly good binders, fifteen notebooks, pounds of looseleaf paper, and subject dividers.

This idea I proposed to my team, and we promptly pursued e-mail correspondence with administrators at our two local high schools to arrange the project.

-The first phase is the collection of the unused supplies. On locker clean-out days, collection bins were placed throughout the school. Students left their unused supplies in these marked bins, with a team member standing by to direct students to where the supplies are to be placed. We took personal responsibility for providing, setting up, monitoring, and removing the bins required for the project.

-Next, we arranged a sorting and restoration site. The plan was to sort out all papers students may have left in their binders and folders, and recycle them. The most lightly used materials could then be inspected and sent to charities to provide less fortunate kids with school supplies. The items that do not meet the standard required to be appropriate to send to a charity could be restored and used by team members and available to other students in need upon request.

The amount of paper thrown into the trash on a daily basis, even, at schools is absurd. We wanted to tackle the issue of wasted school supplies as well in an attempt to help not only the environment, but also those in need of supplies.

We also extended our effort to two of the local middle schools. Hopefully we can expand more in coming years if we obtain enough manpower.

Great summary, Mallory :smiley:

We have already had five collections (three days at one high school, one at the other, and one day at one of the middle schools), and we’re running out of space to put materials, people to help with the collections, and time to sort through the collected items.

We had the first middle school locker clean out today, and it was HUGE. We collected A LOT more items than we had expected. However, we did end up doing a lot of trash picking again (A LOT of trash picking, rather). Apparently middle school students think that once a recycling bin is overflowing, it’s of no use and they can throw their brand-new school supplies in the trash >.< rather than set them next to the bins.

(I’ve realized that this is actually something that is picture worthy…I’m uploading a few more pictures as I’m typing this)

After an experience like this, it doesn’t feel like there is enough hand sanitizer in the world. Acquiring gloves from the careteria or maintenance most likely would have been a good idea.

This pic reminds me of my WAIwhen I was in high school.