McGill initiative "Trash 2 Treasure" restores waste in student ghetto

CTV Montreal

Published Sunday, May 6, 2018 6:48PM EDT

Last Updated Sunday, May 6, 2018 6:53PM EDT

It’s a common sight this time of year in the McGill ghetto: piles of trash and discarded possessions on the sidewalk, left over from the students moving out of the neighborhood.

But a pilot project called Trash 2 Treasure – made possible by several groups, including the Student’s Society of McGill – looks to salvage and restore these items, giving them new life.

The free service is offered over 10 days to students, and non-students, who are cleaning out at the end of the school year.

“We’ve been meeting property owners and building managers who tell us “wow, this problem has been around for decades and finally someone is doing something about it,” said Gabriel Townsend Darriau, who works with Trash 2 Treasure.

Those looking to get rid of household items can book an appointment for pick up – representatives from the organization will travel to the location in their electric truck, and will haul away anything that can be reused.

The collected items are given to Fripe-Prix Renaissance to sell in its thrift stores, or given to asylum seekers pro-bono to help furnish their apartments.

As long as people insist on throwing perfectly good stuff in the trash, the organization says they’ll keep patrolling the streets around grad time.

“Sometimes there’s a bit of disappointment in the fact that knowing all of this would have ended up in the street if we weren’t here,” said Antonina Scheer, who works with McGill student housing.

“It’s kind of a poor system, and that’s what we’re trying to address,” she added.

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