Luther College reduces move out waste by 40 percent

Move out week at Luther College has historically been the week in which Luther sends the most waste to the landfill of any week throughout the year. Students worked more than 400 hours over the course of nine days to assist with move out waste diversion by educating their peers about recycling and donation processes.

Move out week is traditionally when 12 percent of Winneshiek County's population is on the move, which means that a large amount of the county's trash is accumulated during that time. Luther students are encouraged to use large recycling receptacles located near residence halls, as well as place any items they wish to donate in designated donation centers.

This year, Luther students donated eleven 18-foot trucks worth of goods to the Depot and Spectrum Network, two local thrift stores. Donations included furniture, books, school supplies, household wares, clothing, rugs, decorations and more. Nearly 2,000 pounds of food and toiletries were also collected and donated to the food pantry at First Lutheran Church in Decorah.

Luther's efforts during move out week were organized by the college's Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates sustainability initiatives at Luther. The mission of the center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.

A national assessment shows Luther College has made significant gains in sustainability performance over the past three years. This spring Luther submitted information on the college's efforts to STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System), a program run by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Luther received a STARS silver rating of 62.47, which shows improvement from the 47.51 rating the college earned in 2014.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.