Albany – Yesterday Assemblywoman Joan Millman’s New York Higher Education Cares Act made it one step closer to becoming New York State law – it was passed overwhelmingly in the New York State Assembly.
The New York Higher Education Cares Act (A.9284-C) allows public and private college and university administrations to develop and implement programs that would distribute consumer goods left behind by students to local not-for-profits. Currently, the institutions’ staff are responsible for disposing of the items left behind, many of which ultimately end up at the local landfill. If enacted, A.9284-C would benefit community not-for-profits and reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.
New York University (NYU) has been a leader in successfully reducing campuswide waste of unwanted items and nonperishable foods at the end of the school year. Last May, NYU began a pilot program in three of its dorms to collect and donate unwanted consumer items and food to homeless services groups and other New York City non-profits. This year the program has been expanded and is estimated to collect nearly 25,000 pounds of unwanted consumer goods and nonperishable food. In the end, the program may save NYU money because it will have to rent fewer dumpsters to throw away unwanted items since non-profits are picking up the students’ donations.
“I am encouraged to see my bill move successfully through the legislative process,” Millman said. “However, as another school year draws to a close, it is a shame that we still can’t tap into this huge opportunity to not only reduce waste but also support local non-profit organizations.”