News

a photo of the Trash2Treasure event

Students show their "green" moves

9/8/09

Northeastern is taking tag sales to a whole new level. Taking its cue from the heaps of trash typically accumulated—and then hauled away—during spring move-out, the student-run environmental group Husky Energy Action Team (HEAT) kicked off the first Trash2Treasure initiative this year.

Here’s how it worked: HEAT volunteers manned more than 20 collection sites around campus during move-out last spring. Reusable items—including paintings, lamps, rugs, and mini-fridges—were collected from students who would have otherwise tossed them and were stored at Northeastern over the summer. Then during Welcome Week in September, the items were sorted and put up for sale in Curry Student Center. Over the course of seven hours, more than 350 students and parents combed the aisles, purchasing items for garage-sale prices.

The result: More than $3,000 was raised, two-thirds of which went to Alternatives for Community and Environment, a Boston-based environmental justice organization working to improve the environment in low-income areas; 150 pounds of nonperishable food was donated to Trinity Church; and 10 bags of clothes went to St. Vincent Church. The other $1,000 will be used to orchestrate Trash2Treasure for next year.

“A garage sale at this level that raised this much money has never happened at Northeastern,” said Dan Abrams, who spearheaded the Trash2Treasure effort. “People seemed very excited to help do their part for a good cause.

“We definitely will be recruiting more volunteers, both for preparation before the event and to assist during the actual sale,” said Kaitlyn McEnaney, the director of marketing and public relations for HEAT. “We are expecting an even greater turn out next year.”