Spring Eyeglasses Collection Promotes Reuse and Giving

University Facilities and Services’ spring eyeglass recycling program marked the second largest collection to date! The biannual program has been ongoing for the past five years to accept all types of glasses, including prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, and frames. Donated glasses are sent to the Lions Club where they are cleaned, sorted, and packaged by volunteers. They are then sent to people in need of glasses, mostly in developing countries. Since 2014, ten collections have been held, and a total of 5,961 pairs have been donated.

In addition to the collection, the spring program includes a departmental competition to encourage many in the University community to participate. The competition results in two winners, one for most pairs collected, and one for the most “eye-catching” box created. The department that collected the most pairs of eyeglasses this March was the United Business Office who collected 292 pairs. The most creatively designed collection box was put together by the Financial Case Management (see photo above). Winning departments earn a celebration with pizza or donuts and an award presented by a representative from the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester. Amy Kadrie, who coordinates the program, would like to congratulate the winners of the competition as well as all the departments who competed and individuals who donated. “I am always overwhelmed by the energy, commitment and creativity put forth in this effort,” Kadrie says. “It all adds up and everyone who is involved is a winner in my opinion!” To see photos of all of the boxes, visit UR Sustainable on Facebook.

(Pictured above: Kimberlee Overdyk with Financial Case Management receives award from Karen Guarino of the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester)

Overall, 763 pairs of eyeglasses were collected by University departments. Combined with the mail-in program, a total of 1,169 glasses were donated—the second most pairs out of all the collections! Not only does this program promote sustainability through reuse, but also in its efforts to improve social equity by giving the opportunity of improved vision to many. Karen Guarino from the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester and Wendy Winslow of the Flaum Eye Institute also deserve thanks for their continued support of all collections held through the program. The next eyeglasses collection will be in August, so get your glasses ready.

The departmental competition was held in the spirit of the annual RecycleMania competition, which also took place in March. Universities and colleges across the US and Canada compete to promote recycling and waste diversion, and the glasses competition extends this emphasis on competition to increase waste diversion. Congratulations to Loyola Marymount University for taking the top spot in the both the Diversion and the Per Capita categories. The University of Rochester ranked second among the New York participants in the organics collection and fourth in the total recycling category. Take a look at the full 2019 Scoreboard for more details and complete reports for all categories.


Isabel Lieberman, Class of 2021



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