One Gustie’s trash…

Katie SamekStaff Writer

The second annual Trash2Treasure Move-Out Donations Collection event is in full swing as Gustavus students prepare to move out of their dormitories and apartments across campus. Donations opened on Friday, May 5 for Norelius, Southwest, and North halls, while the rest of the dormitory donation spots are set to open on Thursday, May 18. The event will close and all donations will be collected on Sunday, May 28, so be sure to drop off all of your items soon.

Every hall has a different collection spot for donations, which can be found in the email sent out about the event on May 5 or listed hereafter: College View – large multi-use room, Norelius – lounge (near the pool table), Complex – the basement of North hall, Pittman – basement, Sohre – basement, Southwest – kitchen/lounge area, Uhler – basement. Students who do not live in any of the listed dormitories are also invited to drop their unwanted items off in one of the listed collection spots.

Donation items should be either new or gently used and in good working condition, with clothing items being washed before being donated. A list of accepted donations was sent out in the May fifth email; however, an abridged list has been provided here: rugs of all sizes, mini-fridges and other kitchen appliances, TVs, lamps and string lights, small furniture such as futons and end tables, storage bins and shelves, unopened toiletries, and cleaning products, washed and gently used clothes, shoes, and unopened non-perishable food. All donated food products will be donated to the St. Peter food shelf. 

Any electronics not listed above should be taken to the Olin parking lot on Wednesday, May 17, where they will be collected by Gustavus Technology Services. Accepted electronics donations include personal laptops or desktop computers, computer monitors and cables, and other small electronics in either working or non-working condition. TVs, appliances, and lightbulbs will NOT be accepted at this event. This mini-event is part of a GTS partnership with PCs for People, a nonprofit organization that deals with electronic donations and recycling.

Trash2Treasure requests that bulky items, such as large couches, not be donated during this event. These should be redistributed to underclassmen or otherwise disposed of, as summer storage space for donated items is limited.

All students and staff are welcome to peruse the donation piles and take whatever they would like at any time during the collection process before the event ends on May 28. All other items will be resold in Fall 2023 during the Gustie Garage Sale – details on which will be coming soon.

Trash2Treasure is organized by the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation, with help from Facilities. The Johnson Center is the campus’s sustainability center, composed of two co-directors, the Sustainability Manager, and Sustainability Interns. Members of the Johnson Center plan, promote, organize, and collect the donations for the Trash2Treasure program in the spring during move-out, as well as organize the Gustie Garage Sale in the fall where items are redistributed. All sales from the event go to further sustainability efforts on campus.

2023 marks the second year of the Trash2Treasure program, which included donation collection during the Spring move-out of 2022 and the Gustie Garage Sale during the Fall move-in of 2022. Similar efforts to collect items during move-out have taken place in the last decade, and Trash2Treasure is the latest initiative to build upon those conservation efforts. Last year, over 4500 lbs of trash were rescued from the landfill during the Trash2Treasure event, with this year’s goal being to surpass that number during this year’s event.

“Every year during move-out, our dumpsters are filled to the brim with items that are often in good condition,” Sustainability Manager Kari Wallin said. “This is an effort to divert some of these items away from the landfill and into the hands of people who need them and will use them. If you have gently used stuff to get rid of, don’t have room in your vehicle for some items, or want to find some new treasures you can use, Trash2Treasure is for you. This program takes a lot of effort to organize and pull off, but it really is a win-win for students needing to donate items and for minimizing our environmental impact during move-out.”

Student help is being sought to assist in collecting and transporting donations from the event, especially during Senior week and the week after graduation. If you’re interested in helping, even for a little while, please email Kari at

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