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A Hamster’s Paradise

Kortepohja’s own recycling center Kierukka is always glad to get new things – and new volunteers.

Stranded in Jyväskylä, out of money and in need for a shirt, a pair of shoes or a board game? Kierukka, the recycling center of the Kortepohja Student Village, has been dubbed as ”The Free Shop” among exchange students.
”The word spreads through the grapevine, like the ESN-community. Most of our customers are foreign students”, tells the Secretary of the Kortepohja Student Village, Mari Lähteenmäki.
The recycling center, located in the ground floor of the C-building of the student village, has been in operation since March 2008. It’s principle is simple: bring in things you don’t need and take the ones you do with you. No money required.
According to Lähteenmäki, the flow of incoming stuff is the highest during move-out season in the spring. The beginning of the fall semester, on the other hand, is busy with people coming to look for stuff.
”Linens and houseware are the most popular items. Almost all domestic items that come in find a new home”, Lähteenmäki says. Techical appliances are on the side of plenty.
”At one point there was tower of carcasses of central units”, Lähteenmäki describes the amount of computer parts.

More peculiar items, however, can also be found on the shelves.
”The weirdest thing we’ve received is a make-up doll head”, Panu Mäkinen, an volunteer at the center says.
Secretary Mari Lähteenmäki also finds a half-eaten bag of pet rodent food titled ”Supa Hamster – Complete Mix” amusing.
”We try to dispose stuff no one wants at least once a year”, Lähteenmäki tells.
”But it’s a lot of work and we don’t have that many volunteers. And personally, I’m a bit of  ’hamster’ myself. I keep everything, because I feel someone might still need it.”
The recycling center in run by a list of 20 volunteers about five of which are most active. Mäkinen hopes that more will join.
”We always need new people, whether they contact us by email or just show up at the center.”

Marja Honkonen
paatoimittaja(at)jyy.fi

Kierukka Recycling Center is open on Tuesdays from 17 to 19. Donations can also be brought to the secretary’s office.

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