JCCC Stories

Recycling done right

May 26, 2017


JCCC club collects 1,300+ denim items and receives donated freight

More than 1,300 pieces of denim were collected during a drive sponsored by the JCCC Business and Marketing club (Enactus) as part of Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program, and a local freight company stepped up to pay for the shipping.

The items will be recycled into UltraTouch Denim Insulation to be used by organizations such as Habitat for Humanity rather than ending up in landfills or incinerators.  

“It was a tremendous success,” said Barbara Millard, professor of marketing management and advisor for the club. The grand-prize winner, who earned a $100 Visa gift card, contributed 121 denim items by asking friends to clean out their closets, she said.

‘Free’ freight

Based on its success, the denim drive will now be an annual event. Collection bins across campus will allow donations to be accepted throughout the year.

The group saved around $400 in freight charges when a former JCCC Continuing Education student paid to ship the items to Blue Jeans Go Green in Chandler, Arizona.

Damon Anderson, co-owner of Tallgrass Freight Company, said he took small-business classes at JCCC. He met instructor Caren Grandgenett, who helped him build the company’s first database. “She also gave us the boost we needed to see a much bigger picture in what we could become,” he said.

When he heard about the donation drive’s success, he said helping out was a “no-brainer.” It was a chance to help out the environment, education and JCCC.

“We broker freight. I reached out to Barbara, and we were happy to pick up the cost,” Anderson said.

First-ever drive

The denim drive was the first of its kind at Johnson County Community College. Club vice president Mina Mussayeva said, “JCCC students were exploring how they could create a worthy project that would help others think about sustainability when someone brought up idea of the Blue Jeans Go Green Project.”

The club secured funding support from the Student Sustainability Committee and then established a partnership with Catholic Charities. Its Turnstyles thrift store at 9720 W 87th St., Overland Park, also accepted donations.

Based on its success, the denim drive will now be an ongoing event. Collection bins across campus will allow donations to be accepted throughout the year.

For questions about Enactus, contact Millard at 913-469-8500, ext. 4792. For questions about other sustainability activities at JCCC, contact Kristy Howell, sustainability education and engagement coordinator, at 913-469-8500, ext. 2883.