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Eyeglasses recycling competition results

poster showing historical figures wearing eyeglasses

In effort to help those in need see better, University Facilities and Services holds a biannual recycling program to collect eyeglasses for The Lions Eye Bank at Rochester. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately fourteen million Americans above the age of twelve are visually impaired. Prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, and frames are accepted in the program. Glasses are sent to the Lions Club where they are cleaned, sorted, and packaged by volunteers. Usable glasses are then sent to those in need, mostly in developing countries. So far, eight collections have been held collecting a grand total of over 4,000 pairs of glasses.

During the March collection, a departmental competition is held. There are two departmental winners of this competition; one for the most pairs of eyeglasses collected, and one for the most “eye-catching” box. The department that collected the most pairs of eyeglasses this March was the Center for Translational Neuromedicine, which collected 91 pairs. The most creatively designed collection box was put together by the Department of History (above photo), which featured important historical figures including former United States presidents and influential Rochesterians alike donning some of the donated glasses. To see photos of all of the boxes, visit our Facebook page UR Sustainable.

Overall, 157 pairs of eyeglasses were collected from the boxes put together by University departments, 112 pairs of glasses from our partnering drop-off location at the Flaum Eye Institute, and an additional 244 pairs via the mail-in program, which adds up to a total of 513 pairs of glasses this March! The glasses that were generously donated will make a difference in the lives of many. These efforts—donating items that can be given a second life—embody sustainability.

The departmental competition was held in the spirit of the annual RecycleMania competition which ran through the beginning of April. Read about how the University did in RecycleMania 2018 here.

Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie would like to give a special thanks to Karen Guarino from The Lions Eye Bank at Rochester, Wendy Winslow of the Flaum Eye Institute, all of the departments who participated, and everyone who donated glasses to make this program a continued success.

The departments enjoyed participating as well. Kristi Pakusch said the Department of History “had a lot of fun making the collection box” and is “proud to have been able to help support the biannual recycling program and the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester.” Christina Polito of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine shared her excitement saying her department was “so glad the collection was a success!”

It’s never too early to begin preparing for the next collection. So get your glasses ready for August!


Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018

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