Office of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
January 26, 2015
As eight offices with nearly 50 employees moved into Knox College's recently renovated Alumni Hall, there's one thing that was left behind. Gone are the days of throwing tons of moving-related materials into the trash, according to college officials who managed a "waste-free" move.
Capping a year-long, $12-million renovation, the office move was accomplished in time for winter term classes that began earlier this month. Tons of materials were diverted for reuse or recycling.
"We completely eliminated the need to rent a dumpster, and even the most 'wasteful' department generated little more than a single 55-gallon can of items that had to be thrown away," said Froggi VanRiper, Director of Campus Sustainability Initiatives.
"Thousands of pounds of material have been repurposed in various ways," Van Riper said. The college simply refused to buy new boxes, just for offices to use in the move. "We collected over 1500 boxes from other campus operations and reused them for moving, which kept an equivalent amount of raw material from re-entering the solid waste cycle."
It's estimated that reusing boxes saved over $3,000 and reduced environmental impact by 2,300 pounds of carbon-dioxide, 17,700 gallons of water, and 2,250 pounds of raw tree fiber. Garments and household items were taken to the Free Store, Galesburg Rescue Mission, and other local family aid organizations.
It's estimated that recycling diverted two tons of material that otherwise would have gone to the landfill, while reuse donations diverted one ton of material. Perhaps the most distinctive reuse donation -- kids at a local daycare center were happy to get one office's obsolete ink stamps.
One of the largest operations to move into Alumni Hall is the 20-member Office of Admission, formerly located in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts.
"The Sustainability Office was an awesome partner -- communicated ahead of time about reusing and recycling, so we didn't have to pitch things," said Norma Rodriguez, senior administrative assistant in the Office of Admission. "They got us everything that we needed, and even sent student workers to handle the materials in our storage area for recycling, so that we could keep working on the things that needed to be moved to the new offices."
How Knox Made a Waste-Free Office Move and Other Reusable Tips from Sustainability Director Froggi Van Riper