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Trash to Treasure campaign saves money, helps the environment and the Eckerd College community

By Tom Scherberger
Published July 17, 2014
Categories: Sustainability

Call it a triple win for sustainability at Eckerd College.

In response to tons of trash left behind by departing students at the end of the academic year, Sustainability Fellow Evan Bollier ‘13 and his team of 20 Eckerd College students decided to try something new.

With the help of a small band of student volunteers, Bollier rescued thousands of discarded item, ranging from mini-refrigerators to microwave ovens, lamps, bikes, coffee makers, clothes and shoes.

In the end, 4.5 tons of trash were kept out of the landfill, which also saved the college $4,000 in solid waste fees.

Bollier and the students then set about the arduous task of sorting through all that stuff and readying it for the next phase: Christmas in July.

On Wednesday, Cobb Gallery was filled with eager bargain-hunters — students, faculty and staff — for the first Trash to Treasure tag sale. More than $2,700 was raised during the sale, which will be used to help fund future sustainability efforts.

Whatever wasn’t sold this week — and there was a lot — will be sold during another tag sale on Aug. 8, move-in day for first-year students.

Bollier is proud that the project helped the environment, saved the college money and provided low-cost items for the Eckerd community.

Bollier was exuberant about the success of the inaugural Trash to Treasure campaign. “We’ll absolutely make this an annual event,’’ Bollier told the Tampa Tribune. “I lost a decent amount of sleep over this in the last two weeks, but it really came together.”

Biology major Aliah Marzolf ‘16 volunteered at Wednesday’s tag sale (pictured above). “I’m really so excited that we sold so many items that were originally trash,’’ she said.