Reanna Bain

Students getting rid of used items can consider contributing to a campus-wide drive that is looking for donations ranging from pairs of gently worn shoes to notebooks and household goods.

The eighth annual Trash to Treasure Donation Drive will begin today and run through May 15 on campus. Organized by the Campus Environmental Center, the drive will collect used goods, from apparel to houseware, at donation locations across campus for the fall 2012 Trash to Treasure garage sale.

Geography sophomore Reanna Bain, the coordinator for Trash to Treasure, said the goal of the drive is to divert waste that occurs when students move out of residence halls.

“It will prevent usable items from going to a landfill,” Bain said. “The project strives to recycle what others may consider to be trash and resell items in a campus-wide garage sale at the beginning of the school year where many students can’t believe the amount of treasures they find.”

Bain said all students are consumers and should be aware of the environmental impact they have when they buy new things and throw away items that can still be used.

“Our planet can only hold so many items and so many people think of  ‘throwing something away’ in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ perspective,” Bain said. “In actuality, everything that we make, especially if it’s not biodegradable, is still on Earth. Therefore, it is wasteful for humans as a whole to create such large amounts of waste and not expect to face the consequences later.”

Psychology senior Faith Shin, outreach coordinator for Campus Environmental Center, said the advantage of this drive is the abundant potential for students to enjoy the used materials donated.

“The rising love for vintage and used goods makes this donation all the more relevant,” Shin said. “Students who partake in this drive as volunteers can see that the donations benefit a lot of people.”

Desired donation items include gently used clothing, shoes, electronics, household items and school supplies, she said.

“Keep in mind that items not allowed include children’s clothing, clothes or shoes with stains or holes, undergarments, swimsuits, personal care products or outdated electronics that are old or broken,” Shin said. 

Marketing senior Brittney Walls, event coordinator for the University Co-op, said they held the Duds for Discounts drive at the Co-op branch stores in late April. The two Austin locations, which collected an estimated 300 donations, gave those items to the Trash to Treasure drive.

“We were looking for charities to partner with in each city and since we’re right across the street from campus, what better way to give back to UT than through this drive?” Walls said. “We received some really nice men’s and women’s clothing that students would benefit from especially at such a low cost.”

Drive donation areas will include Jester East, Jester West, San Jacinto, Duren, Kinsolving, Whitis Court, Littlefield and Carothers residence halls.