YMCA at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Recycling, and others partner for third annual Ytoss? program

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 29, 2008 – The YMCA at Virginia Tech has partnered with Virginia Tech Recycling and others to help reduce the waste going into landfills from Student Move Out each May with their Ytoss? program.

This year’s Ytoss? event will take place on May 3 through May 8, 2008. The YMCA at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Recycling, the Department of Residence Life, the Town of Blacksburg, Sustainable Blacksburg, and other campus and community-based organizations are partnering for the third annual Ytoss?

“I think community and campus partnerships are a key step and makes sense with the new commitment from both the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech to move toward becoming sustainable,” said Cameron Burkholder, Ytoss? co-director. “It is exciting to have such substantial support from the campus and community. It’s important for organizations both large and small to take steps toward sustainability.”

Ytoss? cuts approximately $4,000 in dumping fees from Virginia Tech Recycling/Move Out expenditures each year. The program is a recycling event designed to collect gently used items students typically “toss” during the move out, including TVs, electronics, microwaves, refrigerators, furniture, rugs, clothing, hutches, fans, and more. Non-refrigerated foods, paper products, and laundry detergent (opened and unopened) are collected and donated to a local food bank as well. Ytoss? reduces items being deposited in landfills and increases Virginia Tech’s sustainability efforts, while providing a substantial fundraising opportunity for the YMCA at Virginia Tech’s leadership development programs.

“There is a real chance that Ytoss?, as it grows into a standard feature of the annual student Move Out, can significantly reduce both the quantity and cost of materials sent to the landfill for disposal,” said Larry Bechtel, Recycling Coordinator for Virginia Tech Recycling. “Ytoss? is an integral part of the group’s student Move Out operations. The benefits have been tremendous.”

During May 3-8, Ytoss? will have six collection points conveniently located near several residence halls between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day: West End Market, The Prairie (two locations), Slusher Beach, Upper Quad, President’s Quad. There will also be boxes available in Oak Lane Housing and various apartment leasing offices. All items collected during the May 2008 Move Out will be resold during the August 2008 Move In on Aug.21 and Aug. 22, at the annual Ytoss? Sale. This event takes place at the YMCA center on North Main Street in Blacksburg.

Founded in 1873, the YMCA at Virginia Tech serves the community through four main programming areas: Community, Education, International and Student Programs. The YMCA at Virginia Tech provides free services for those at-need, while offering the campus and community a variety of volunteer, leadership and community education opportunities. With over 1,200 volunteers who annually provide more than 20,000 hours to our diverse programs, the YMCA focus on learning, leadership and service reaches out to community members from all walks of life, while developing new leaders who work to make our community a better place.

Established in 1991 by the Physical Plant Operations at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Recycling seeks to provide a system which makes recycling dependable, convenient and cost effective. Virginia Tech Recycling operates regular collection routes for corrugated cardboard, sorted office paper, glossy magazines and catalogs, newspapers and commingled containers. These recyclables are brought daily to loading docks from academic and administration buildings, where the materials are picked up by the center’s staff. Virginia Tech Recycling believes classroom discussions about environmental problems and their solutions are not simply theoretical, but have practical value in the world and on the Virginia Tech campus.

Sandy Wirt wrote this story.