The Dump Brigade

By Emily Gold Boutilier / July / August 2003
June 22nd, 2007
When students moved out of the dorms last year, Ana Lyman ’04 was dismayed to see campus Dumpsters overflowing with such castoffs as plastic hangers, cans of tuna, and even computers. “I was completely overwhelmed by how much stuff had been left,” says Lyman, who had just returned from a year in Brazil, where it seemed nothing went to waste.

This year she connected with Lisa Heller, a new Swearer Center staffer who three years ago started Dump & Run, a nonprofit that has found a creative way to reuse the items that students leave behind. Placing boxes in every dorm, Lyman and her team collected truckloads of goods this May and will sell them this fall at a series of giant yard sales. Proceeds will go to groups at Brown and in the community that helped collect and sell the items as a way of raising money.

The spring collection yielded heaps of sheets and comforters, yards of books, piles of crutches, and boxes upon boxes of shoes. Lyman counted at least eighteen computer printers and noticed designer clothing with the price tags still intact. Almost nothing is sent to the trash, not even half-empty bottles of shampoo and laundry detergent. On a recent trip to the Grad Center, she found an armchair, a twelve-pack of chicken ramen, and a few ice-cube trays in the collection area. One item, however, confounded her: a mostly empty bottle of white rum. She’s not sure what to do with that.

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Related Issue
July / August 2003