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Come the last week of classes each year, Tulane students throw out the equivalent weight of 15 elephants in trash! This year a brand-new, student run organization is trying to prevent all that waste from being sent to landfills. Trash to Treasure is run by a dedicated group of undergraduates and was started halfway through the spring semester. Their goal is to collect reusable items that are ordinarily thrown away, and resell them in the fall to Tulane students at discounted prices. Any and all profits will be donated to local New Orleans nonprofit such as Fund 17.

Two weeks ago, Trash to Treasure was awarded a $10,000 grant through the NewDay Challenge, a Tulane University competition that awards funding to Tulane students who are finding innovative, sustainable solutions to social challenges. That grant will help cover the start-up costs of the program, like renting moving vans to collect items and storage locations for the summer, advertising the program to students, more. Money earned at this year’s sale will fund the program the next year, and any surplus money will be donated to charity.

Starting this week, the Trash to Treasure team will be collecting dorm furniture, sorting bins, clothes, bedding – essentially any and all dorm items that can be reused. The collection sites will be in or near the lobbies in Monroe, Sharp, Paterson, Wall, Warren, Weatherhead, Mayer and Butler dormitories. For students living off campus, Trash to Treasure will come pick up large loads (approximately greater than $500 original retail value). Contact Anne Bevis at 610-470-1127 to schedule an off-campus pickup. Don’t forget, you can always consolidate items with some neighbors or friends to make that $500 benchmark! This the fall, the weekend before classes begin, Trash to Treasure will be selling back the reusable items for extremely cheap prices. Their goal is to not only reduce the amount of waste that Tulane students produce during move-out, but also to save students money and time shopping for dorm items.