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The search for buried treasure

In the four years since its inception, the annual Trash2Treasure yard sale has become something of a mainstay in the lives of Northeastern University students.

“It’s become one of those programs students expect to see,” said Jessica Feldish, president of the Husky Environmental Action Team, which organizes the event.

Last semester, students moving out of the dorms saw large red moving bins floating around campus and knew exactly what they were for. From electronics to bed risers to unused canned food, any unwanted items were collected in the big bins during the chaotic move-out period. Over the summer, HEAT stored these items (minus the food, which goes to the Greater Boston Food Bank) in storage containers.

Those items will be resold to returning students at an event on Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Curry Student Center Ballroom.

The money raised at the yard sale has traditionally gone to Alternatives for Community and Environment, a local nonprofit organization. This year, in an effort to boost student participation in the spring, a portion of the proceeds will go to the student groups represented in last semester’s volunteer pool.

Feldish expects Trash2Treasure to continue growing in popularity and notes its strong partnership with Northeastern Facilities. One hope is that the program can soon become a yearlong donation system.

HEAT’s 2010 president, Alyssa Pandolfi, S’12, used her senior capstone project as an opportunity to begin analyzing the environmental benefit generated by the program. Using an online tool provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, the group is calculating the total amount of carbon saved through Trash2Treasure.