But between June 14 and the 23, a few volunteers, a pickup truck or two, and a massive sale might stem this years-old tradition, while making a few bucks for Isla Vista improvement programs.
During the annual Great Isla Vista Extravaganza collection drive, community members can drop off any usable and good quality items such as furniture, clothing, kitchenware and books in the Embarcadero Hall parking lot from noon to 8 p.m. from June 14 to 23. On June 24 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., GIVE to Isla Vista will hold a sale in the parking lot, proceeds from which will go to community organizations, said Cathy Boyer, community liaison from the Office of Isla Vista/UCSB Liaison.
“The project is one way people can address concerns with a lot of people moving out [while] useful items are thrown away,” Boyer said. “The project was developed because it’s a very chaotic time of year.”
To make disposing items more convenient and accessible, volunteers from Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board will drive around I.V. and pick up old furniture and items on the side of the road, said Kelly Burns, A.S. Vice President of Local Affairs. Students needing this service must make an appointment between June 16 and the 20.
“A lot of times people want to give their stuff but don’t have the means,” Burns, a third-year global studies major, said. “It’s good for the environment and it helps clean up the city. Instead of being wasteful, people can give to others.”
Boyer said the GIVE to Isla Vista program started in 1990 and is put on with the help of many volunteers and campus organizations such as the I.V./UCSB Liaison, EAB, the A.S. I.V. Tenants’ Union and the Optimist Club. Meanwhile, campus residence halls provide containers for students to donate their items, she said.
“Most of these things can be reused by someone,” Boyer said. “We get things before they end up at the dump or transfer station, which is another word for dump.”
Boyer said the sale made about $6,000 last year, which was split between eight different organizations.
Eric Cummings, EAB co-chair and fourth-year English major, said the sale provides an alternative to those who burn couches because they don’t know what else to do with the excess furniture. He said couch burning is detrimental to the environment.
“Every year people throw stuff in the ocean or burn it in the streets; people use up a lot of resources,” Cummings said. “It releases a ton of CO2 because most couches are plastic and come from oil essentially, and that’s why they burn so well. … We’d rather give to someone else than junk it or burn it.”
The added stress of finals, trying to find a storage unit and moving truck, as well as having to deal with I.V.’s landlords makes moving a difficult task, said third-year English major Mikael Mossberg. Because of this, many people decide to save time by burning their couches rather than sell or donate them.
“A lot of people are really excited to burn their couches,” Mossberg said. “People will save their couch for the expressed purpose to burn it. … It completely destroys the asphalt and it sucks to skate on.”