Being green is a term used all around Michigan State University’s campus, and not just on earth day.
The university is involved in multiple recycling initiatives that give students, faculty, and community members opportunities to both recycle and reuse. The MSU Surplus Store collects old items and sells them at a reduced price as part of the reuse movement.
“People bring in their milk jugs and their plastic wrappers and everything like that and then you get the ‘Well, I have an air conditioner or a rocking chair or a power wheels truck’ and they didn’t want to throw it away,” said Joel Heckaman, head of social media and marketing for the Surplus Store. “Things that may not necessarily be recyclable, like an office chair or a conference table, can be reused.”
While the programs in place have been effective, some students feel that more can be done to ensure that recycling is widespread. One of the primary complaints is the relative lack of recycling available for off-campus students.
“MSU has made some really great strides when it comes to recycling, but I always think that they could do more, especially for off-campus housing,” said senior Ashley Hall. “We don’t have a way to recycle unless we go on-campus. I think it’s important to invest in that.”
The Surplus Store does offer a drop-off recycling service year-round, and for the last week they expanded their accepted goods to many reusable items that will be resold in the store.
“Literally anything that’s unwanted, that is not hazardous material, comes to us,” said Heckaman. “And we try to reuse it, if it can’t be reused then the materials get recycled and if it just absolutely cannot be recycled then it goes out to the landfill as a very last resort.”
The recycling facility deals with waste, recycling, and surplus, giving those on campus multiple ways to be Spartan green.