by Karin Winegar
Ah, spring, when parents arrive to pick up their college children and decide which IKEA pieces to keep and which to toss in the trash.
I cruise down alleys this time of year, swerving to peek — almost but not quite without embarrassment — into dumpsters, poke into trash cans and prod boxes overflowing with what's being jettisoned. It could furnish a village, many villages, this torrent of unwanted student stuff.
Here are area rugs, futons and sofas, tables and bookcases, TVs large and small, bags and boxes of kitchen supplies (largely untouched) from spices to pasta. Here are bottles of shampoo and cleaning supplies (again, largely unused). Here I find usable furniture, bike helmets, oven mitts, kitchen knives, perfectly good pens, reams of paper that should at least be recycled if not used.