Queen’s and the city talk trash as 12,000 students prepare to move out
Kingston, ON – Queen’s University and the City of Kingston are engaging both students and landlords in a campaign to keep the student neighborhood free of debris when students move out at the end of the month.
“We’re reminding students before they move of their obligations to be good neighbours and responsible citizens by using the resources available to dispose of unwanted items,” says Joan Jones, coordinator of Town-Gown Relations at Queen’s.
To raise student awareness, Queen’s has distributed a specially designed flyer on the doorknobs of 900 houses in the student area. It includes a checklist for disposing of items and a contact list of local charities, including the Ontario March of Dimes, Salvation Army, Enviroworks, The Canadian Diabetes Association and the Partners in Mission Food Bank. Charities will pick up large items in advance.
The Salvation Army will also be parking a truck in Victoria Park on April 30 and May 1 to collect “gently-used” articles.
“Donations of clothing and large articles from Queen’s during student move-out are a tremendous asset to us,” says Thrift Store Manager Sharon Peterson. “Last year we broke record sales from large articles collected on the Saturday, and sales were boosted throughout the year from clothing that took a while to sort. We look forward to participating both days this year.”
In addition, Queen’s Community Outreach Coordinator Marija Linjacki visited students in their near-campus homes recently, chatting and distributing plastic bags for the Salvation Army clothing drive along with exam tools such as free beverages on and off campus and free movie rentals that promote taking a break.
“Students are studying and writing exams sometimes up to just before their move,” says Ms Linjacki. “Trash left behind often consists of gently-used clothing that can be recycled, so the plastic re-cycling bags for clothing donations to the Salvation Army may encourage students to take a break, plan ahead and not leave all the details of moving to the last moment.”
A letter, distributed to 1,500 property owners in the student neighborhood, reminds landlords of the bylaws in place to keep the city safe and clean of debris. The letter also provides homeowners living in the neighbourhood with a phone number to report violations of these bylaws.
“We’re reminding landlords of their responsibilities to keep the neighbourhood clean,” says Steve Murphy, manager of building and property standards for the City of Kingston. “Last year few enforcement measures were required as staff were generally able to work with landlords to meet the 48-hour clean-up period.”
To help ease the transition for the yearly spring exodus of students, the university and the city are trying to raise awareness about garbage, recycling, landfills and property standards, as well as about opening and closing Utilities Kingston accounts. The city of Kingston is running local ads and its website features a special student section at www.cityofkingston.ca/schoolsout. Also, bylaw enforcement officers will be out in full force over the moving days to issue orders and charges under the property standards bylaw.
Queen’s is picking up the $1,500 tab to keep the waste transfer station open extended hours. The transfer station at 62 St. Remy Place (off Dalton Avenue) will be open Sunday April 29 from noon until 4 p.m., Monday April 30 and Tuesday May 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Regular tipping fees apply, with a minimum of $12.50 per load.
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