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Campus & Community

Trash to Treasure

Terps Moving Out of Residence Halls Donate by the Ton

By Lauren Brown

Terps Moving Out of Residence Halls Donate by the Ton

Illustration by Jason Keisling

Illustration by Jason Keisling

Move-out at Maryland doesn’t have to mean throw out—not even when the car is too full to fit a vacuum cleaner.

Terps packing up their residence hall rooms last week had a load of options to give new life to their no-longer-wanted belongings, through the Trash to Treasure campaign.

The Department of Resident Life, which leads the effort, set up 16 collection stations across campus to collect clothes, small appliances and electronics, kitchen and office items and more, all to be distributed to the American Red Cross and GreenDrop. An estimated 1,600 pounds of nonperishable food went to the Campus Pantry, UMD Libraries welcomed donations of used books, the Department of Transportation Services took in bicycles to be refurbished and loaned out via BikeUMD, and Facilities Management recycled foam pads, rugs and broken electronics.

“Things can have another life,” says Lisa Alexander, coordinator for sustainability programs in Resident Life. “Students seeing Trash to Treasure may rethink whether their things can be reused next year.”

It’s too early to measure this year’s haul from the bins, pallets and pods, but Resident Life spokeswoman Tracy Kiras says that last year, the campaign brought in nearly 16 tons of donations. Most of those donations aren’t so surprising, since they’re the furnishings of college students: lamps, box fans, blankets and brooms.

But the Terp crew did find a few interesting discards in the bins on our last check …

• Half-case of ramen noodle packages

• Max Scherzer bobblehead, new in box

• Miniature popcorn popper

• Baby mobile, still in box

• 3-feet-wide zebra photo artwork

• Giant floppy brown teddy bear

• “Christian Guide to Beauty and Appearance” book

• Terps basketball arm sleeve

• Indian comic book called “Balarama”

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.