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Amid piles of clothes, mattress pads, books, used carpet rolls and at least one floor lamp, Catie Peissig, a volunteer for Campus Thrift, staffs a drop station last week for students moving out of the dorms at the University of Montana to leave useable items, that would otherwise go to the trash, for a community sale May 20th. This is the first year for the recycle/reuse project at UM.

Organizers of a campus-wide thrift sale at the University of Montana are hoping that one student's trash can become another student’s treasure.

As students move out of the dormitories this year, they are being encouraged to donate unwanted items at a series of drop-off points around campus. The goods collected as part of Campus Thrift will be sold at a thrift sale on campus this Wednesday.

Campus Thrift is being put together by UM’s Residence Life Office, Office of Sustainability, ASUM Renter Center and UM Recycling. Volunteers at drop off points around campus near the dormitories began collecting goods on May 13. Collection sites were also set up at the University Villages Community Center, Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the university housing at Lewis and Clark Village on Higgins Avenue.

The collection sites accepted everything from clothes to furniture and appliances. Mattresses and hazardous materials were on the short list of items that were not allowed to be dropped off.

“It’s just about keeping these things out of landfills,” said Brandy La Roux, who was volunteering at the Lewis and Clark Village collection point on Sunday.

Behind her was a small mountain containing everything from couches and tables to dishware and a television. Students were still busy over the weekend moving out of university housing for the summer.

La Roux said she had worked another volunteer shift at the Aber Hall collection spot on Friday, and said organizers told her that the collected goods had already piled up at a storage facility they were taken to before the sale.

“I really think we should take a picture of what was donated to say, 'Imagine if all of this was in a landfill instead,' ” she said.

Once all of the goods have been collected, the organizations partnering on Campus Thrift will sort through them and get them ready to be sold at a thrift sale. The thrift sale, which will happen on the mall between the Mansfield Library and University Center on campus, will take place Wednesday, May 20 from noon to 7 p.m.

La Roux said she will be volunteering during the thrift sale on Wednesday, and thinks the project is a really good way to get students thinking about sustainability.

“We can help show the difference between what is waste and what is not,” she said.

Items not sold at the sale will be part of another thrift sale in the fall when students return to campus, and the proceeds of the sale will go toward supporting campus sustainability projects.

More information about Campus Thrift can be found on the UM Campus Thrift page on Facebook or by emailing campusthrift@mso.umt.edu.

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