Trash to Treasure 2023

Wednesday May 10th, 2023

The twelfth annual Trash to Treasure sale is happening at Penn State Behrend this Saturday, May 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Junker Center on campus with all proceeds benefitting United Way.

With the warmer weather comes the itch to do a little spring cleaning; it also coincides with the departure of college students as they finish their spring semester and leave their campus housing for home. And every year, students leave behind or throw out clothing, furniture, appliances and cleaning supplies as they run out of space in their cars. 

Trash to Treasure is Penn State Behrend’s initiative to inspire students to think eco-friendly and keep usable items out of landfills. Students can donate items they don’t plan to take home, which offers an opportunity for thrifty shoppers to check out a range of good quality items for cheap. All proceeds are donated to United Way of Erie County, doubling the amount of good done by reducing waste and supporting United Way’s mission to CRUSH POVERTY! 

"Without Trash to Treasure, all the stuff that students don’t want or have the space to take home would go directly in the garbage, even though a lot of it is perfectly usable,” said Sherri “Sam” Mason, Ph.D., Director of Sustainability at Behrend. “Trash to Treasure is an ideal way to give a second life to household materials, all while helping a local community organization. While the idea started with wanting to avoid student move-out waste, many people in the local community donate their unwanted items as well, so the event has grown with people both purchasing and donating items. It’s a win-win!"

The sale is taking place on Saturday, May 13 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Junker Center. Early admission between opening and 9 a.m. is $5 per person. Free admission is offered from 9 a.m. until the sale’s end. From 11 a.m. to noon, shoppers can fill a bag for $5. Both students and community members are welcome to donate a range of items including furniture, clothing, cleaning supplies, electronics, athletic equipment, rugs, toys, light fixtures and appliances. Donations are being accepted in the Junker Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through May 12. 

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Sustainable Behrend and the rest of the Penn State team again for the 12th Annual Trash to Treasure sale," stated Donnie Hatheway, United Way of Erie County’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator. “Each year we are so thankful for the countless volunteers that collect donated items to then turn around to sell at this mega sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds coming directly back to support our local mission to CRUSH POVERTY!”  

“Many people think of Sustainability as being synonymous with environmentalism, but Sustainability is so much more,” Sam shared. “It’s about taking care of people who live within the environment. We utilize the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to help frame the discussion, and the first one of those goals is No Poverty, which perfectly aligns with United Way’s mission.”