M/cloudy
70°
M/cloudy
Hi 75° | Lo 55°

UNH trash sale encourages students to reduce, reuse, recycle

  • Marissa Raftery, a junior from Sandwich, Mass., and Laura Higgins, junior, Plymouth, Mass., search through kitchen supplies for their apartment before the start of their school year at UNH. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Marissa Raftery, a junior from Sandwich, Mass., and Laura Higgins, junior, Plymouth, Mass., search through kitchen supplies for their apartment before the start of their school year at UNH. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • From left, Valeria Celaya, a senior from Hanover, Tatiana Hernandez, a freshman from New York City, and Lissette Batista, a freshman from Providence, hang out on one of several couches for sale after shopping at the Trash 2 Tresaure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    From left, Valeria Celaya, a senior from Hanover, Tatiana Hernandez, a freshman from New York City, and Lissette Batista, a freshman from Providence, hang out on one of several couches for sale after shopping at the Trash 2 Tresaure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Kara Sarver, a first-year graduate student from Gorham, Maine, leaves the Whittemore Center with recently purchased items from the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Kara Sarver, a first-year graduate student from Gorham, Maine, leaves the Whittemore Center with recently purchased items from the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Sandy Ndetah, a freshman from Concord, picks out a rug for her dorm during the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Sandy Ndetah, a freshman from Concord, picks out a rug for her dorm during the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Moriah Arsenault, a junior from Berlin, and Colleen Sweeney, a junior from Marshfield, Mass., head out of the Whittemore Center towards their ride after picking up a few items for their new apartment at the Trash 2 Treasure sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Moriah Arsenault, a junior from Berlin, and Colleen Sweeney, a junior from Marshfield, Mass., head out of the Whittemore Center towards their ride after picking up a few items for their new apartment at the Trash 2 Treasure sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Marissa Raftery, a junior from Sandwich, Mass., and Laura Higgins, junior, Plymouth, Mass., search through kitchen supplies for their apartment before the start of their school year at UNH. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • From left, Valeria Celaya, a senior from Hanover, Tatiana Hernandez, a freshman from New York City, and Lissette Batista, a freshman from Providence, hang out on one of several couches for sale after shopping at the Trash 2 Tresaure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Kara Sarver, a first-year graduate student from Gorham, Maine, leaves the Whittemore Center with recently purchased items from the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Sandy Ndetah, a freshman from Concord, picks out a rug for her dorm during the Trash 2 Treasure yard sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Moriah Arsenault, a junior from Berlin, and Colleen Sweeney, a junior from Marshfield, Mass., head out of the Whittemore Center towards their ride after picking up a few items for their new apartment at the Trash 2 Treasure sale. New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • New and returning students, along with the general public, attended the annual Trash 2 Treasure yard sale held at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on Friday morning, August 23, 2013. For the third year in a row, the student-led program aims at diverting waste from landfills and recycling old furniture and belongings from out-going students to incoming students. The sale kicked off at the Whittemore Center on Friday and will run through Sunday.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

For college students, move-in day often brings at least one last-minute trip to the store, to buy that toaster oven both roommates thought the other was bringing or a rug to cover the filthy dorm room floor. But for students at the University of New Hampshire, all of those items are available right on campus during move-in weekend – and for a very low price.

Yesterday kicked off the third year of UNH’s Trash 2 Treasure program, a giant yard sale where students can buy recycled items that last year’s students would have otherwise thrown away. Through Sunday, the entire floor of the ice arena in Whittemore Center will be filled with rows of couches, chairs, kitchen supplies, lamps, rugs, desks, cleaning supplies and even clothes, all of which were donated by students at the end of last school year. The prices are knocked down to about one fifth of retail price, with wooden chairs selling for about $5, rugs for $10 and kitchen ware for $1 or $2.

“We’re all poor college students,” said Stephanie Yee, a self-proclaimed thrift shopper who held a trash can, mug, painting and piece of clothing in her hands as she scoured the kitchen items.

But the purpose of Trash 2 Treasure extends beyond helping students stock their dorm rooms and apartments on the cheap. Recent graduate Alex Freid founded the program because he wanted to reduce waste on campus and show students the value of sustainability. He dreamed the sale up during his sophomore year, when he noticed all the overflowing trash bins at the end of the school year and learned that UNH students created 100 tons of waste in the month of May alone. In the first two years of the sale, Trash 2 Treasure saved the university $10,000 in trash disposal costs.

The program has grown and received positive feedback because it benefits several groups, said campus coordinator Sophie Rathjen, a junior. Students and parents can save money and the trouble of transporting lots of furniture to campus, and the university saves money in disposal costs and reduces landfill waste.

“It’s a win-win for a lot of people,” she said.

The sale itself brought in $12,000 in the first year and $20,000 in the second, all of which goes back to cover the cost of renting space for the sale, providing delivery trucks that can drop off big items directly at buyers’ dorms and other costs of running the program. It’s the only self-sustaining program of its kind run entirely by students, and Freid is now ready to expand. This year he created his own nonprofit, called PLAN: The Post-Landfill Action Network, which will work to bring Trash 2 Treasure to college campuses across the country. For the leaders of Trash 2 Treasure and PLAN, providing students with an easy way to recycle is one key to ensuring long-term habits.

“When the only option is a Dumpster, everything looks like trash,” said Brett Chamberlin, who is helping Freid launch PLAN.

Those recycled items turned out to be far from trash to the many students and parents who come to the sale.

Susan Murray, a mother from Keene, heard about the sale from another family and brought her freshman son, Gareth, and his new roommate. She said she was impressed with how organized the sale was, and she held a rug to buy for her son’s new dorm room.

“I think it’s such a good idea,” she said. “This is $8, and it may be a crappy rug, but the boys won’t care.”

Graduate student Americo Santamaria said the sale has come a long way since its first year, when it was held outside under a tent. He stood over a metal shelf with a white top that he thought about buying for his closet. The sale is a great place to pick up items that might not be necessary but are useful to have, he said. Students who know about the sale prepare more each year, knowing what they’ll need and how early they have to arrive to snag it.

“The good stuff goes really quickly,” he said.

The next year will be spent growing PLAN so that other campuses can hold similar sales by next fall. Right now, there is an online fundraising campaign with a goal of $50,000 that will help Freid and Chamberlin start programs, provide leadership training and secure contracts with delivery trucks and other organizations. Participating schools will pay a membership fee in exchange for delivery trucks and other services coordinated through PLAN.

When he thought up Trash 2 Treasure as a sophomore, Freid hoped that it would grow into a major program at UNH. Now, he’s doing what he can to reduce waste on a larger scale.

“The vision is post-landfill campuses toward a post-landfill society,” he said. “If we can do this on college campuses, we’re building that next generation of students and leaders to do these types of things out in the real world.”

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.