Recycling for Charity

Community Engagement and Education Internal Culture Waste Prevention and Recycling

Johnson C. Smith University participated in two recycling initiatives with a dual purpose. Both projects saved unwanted items from the landfill while supporting local charities Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Mattress Go Round and Crisis Assistance Ministry.

When the University began the renovation of Duke Hall, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity ReStore toured the facility and uncovered the following items that could be recycled:

  • 23 doors
  • 36 solid core doors
  • 32 sings
  • 32 toilets
  • approximately 80 radiators
  • more than 60 bed frames
  • more than 50 dressers
  • appliances
  • blinds in boxes
  • desks
  • metal-framed chairs
  • mower
  • sweeper
  • three tractor trailers

Similar items have been identified in Liston, Carter and Smith Hall.

The University partnered with Mattress Go Round to take old mattresses from the residence hall and recycle the fabric and fiber, reuse the durable innerspring and rebuild a factory-fresh mattress that meet the strict standards set by the state of North Carolina sanitization process which kills all insect and micro-organisms. Through this partnership, JCSU can recycle 100 percent of its mattresses, as opposed to disposing of them as solid waste. The University’s relationship with Mattress Go Round allows JCSU to “GOGO” (Give One, Get One) — JCSU gives them a mattress and gets a refurbished mattress in return for a reasonable price. These mattresses are returned with high-performance features that filter out dust mites and allergens and are an effective barrier to bedbugs.

JCSU also recycled its fairly used furniture, including beds, mattresses, chairs, desks and lamps, to the furniture bank of the Crisis Assistance Ministry. The nonprofit organization provides assistance for individuals and families in financial crisis, helping them progress toward self-sufficiency. The furniture bank helps families maintain their dignity by providing furniture and appliances free of charge, thereby allowing people to redirect their finances to other basic essential.

In the University’s first year of this partnership, JCSU is expecting to avoid a substantial amount of solid waste which costs money to dispose of. A goal of the University is to recover, reuse and restore neighboring communities through this partnership, by avoiding cost, reducing solid waste inventory and reaching out to those in need in the process.