Dump & Donate expands offerings in 7th year

       After a quarter of a century selling houses on the Westside, the Harris Group Realty decided it was time to “give back to the community,” according to Gail Hawkins, a member of the firm.
       That was 2005, when the firm (started by Barbara Harris) sponsored its first annual Dump & Donate Day in the Coronado High School parking lot. The event, which allows people to drop off household goods and clothing for charity and to get rid of trash, has grown over the years, as the “dump” opportunities have increased and more people have heard about it.
       “You hope business will come out of it, but it's also something we do because the community's been good to us,” said Hawkins, who coordinates the five volunteering agents on what's known as the Barbara Harris Team.
       The seventh annual Dump & Donate Day (which is free except for TVs and computer monitors) will be Saturday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to noon.
       It was originally modeled after an event by a Realty firm on the East Coast, Hawkins said. But the local version evolved over time as team members sought to respond to public wishes and inclinations. The first year there was just one dumpster, but by the third year increased volume forced a second dumpster to be brought in. After the fifth year, it was noticed that branches were making up a large amount of the waste, so the team talked the Colorado Springs Fire Department into showing up in 2010 with a wood chipper. That machine will be back June 18.
       Other requests from users concerned old paint, TVs and electronic equipment. So this year team members lined up El Paso County Hazardous Waste (taking oil and water-based paints, plus household batteries and flourescent light bulbs) and Blue Star Recycling (to accept small appliances, washers and dryers, along with computer components and AV equipment).
       With the event expansion this year, the Harris team is getting help from Empire Title, in terms of costs as well as volunteer manpower.
       “We're looking forward to it,” Hawkins said. “We're getting regular calls about it. So we're optimistic that it will be a good community event again this year.”

Westside Pioneer article