Great news! We are once again back to business as usual. Our public drop-off center has reopened.
DUE TO AN EMERGENCY, THE SURPLUS STORE AND RECYCLING CENTER IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
OUR DROP OFF CENTER WILL ALSO BE CLOSED UNTIL AT LEAST MONDAY.
PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.
From February 1 to March 28, Michigan State University will compete in RecycleMania, an annual recycling competition between more than 400 colleges and universities across North America.
Over the course of the eight-week competition, students are encouraged to be on their greenest behavior because MSU’s Sustainability department will be handing out prizes to students who are “caught green-handed.”
The “Get Caught Green-Handed” initiative rewards environmentally-friendly behavior by giving those “caught” recycling on campus a prize. To support the campaign:
- Promotional tables will be placed in high-traffic campus areas featuring recycling-related activities, interactive displays and prizes.
- Staff members will engage students, staff and faculty to increase knowledge of what can be recycled.
- The Be Spartan Green Facebook and Twitter accounts will recognize students “caught” green-handed.
According to Brad Kurzynowski, student recycling coordinator, “A program like ‘Get Caught Green-Handed’ is great because it rewards those who are recycling properly and motivates others to think about recycling and develop good recycling habits. I think that it will really resonate with students and hopefully will lead to increased recycling on campus, even after RecycleMania is over.”
Additionally, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate by scheduling an office clean-out. The Surplus Store and Recycling Center have everything you need to host your own office clean-out and offer a variety of containers and methods to fit your needs.
Visit http://recyclemania.org for information regarding the competition.
Have you tried or considered trying you hand at home composting? We would love to help. Don’t let apparent problems stand between you and recycling your household organic waste. Instead, consider troubleshooting your composting problems with some solutions below.
|Compost has unpleasant odor.||Not enough air due to overwatering. Not enough air due to compaction. If odor of ammonia, too much nitrogen.||Add dry materials such as cornstalks, leaves, or wood chips to soak up excess water.
Turn the pile to aerate. Cover pile if rains continue. Turn the pile to aerate. Add carbon materials and turn the pile to aerate.
|Pile not heating up.||Pile is too small. Insufficient moisture. Not enough air. Lack of nitrogen. Compost may be finished.||Make pile bigger. Add water while turning. Add water by sticking a garden hose into the center in several locations. Poke holes into the pile and add water using a watering can. Turn the pile to aerate. Mix in nitrogen materials. Add 10-10-10. Use it and start over!!!!|
|Compost is damp and warm only in the center.||Pile is too small.||Add more material.|
|Pile temperature exceeds 160°F.||Not enough air. Lack of carbon.||Turn the pile to aerate. Mix in carbon materials.|
|Large, undecomposed items are still in the mix.||Low surface area.||Remove items. Chop or shred before adding.|
|Rodents.||Presence of meat scraps.||Only add items recommended for your pile and remove offensive material. Animal-proof bin.|
|Compost pile has flies, earwigs, slugs and/or other insects. I find white material throughout my pile.||Good! Pile is composting correctly. Insects are a sign of a productive compost pile. The white cobweb material are actinomycete, part of the microbial community.||If there is an abundance of flies, bury your food scraps as you turn the pile.|
November 17th – December 5th
1. Free Recycling Service
2. Open 24/7
3. Wide Variety of Items Accepted
- 3 Cardboard Containers - where visitors can dispose of any cardboard items they can fit within the container
- 1 Boxboard Container - where visitors can dispose of any freezer packaging, or other boxboard items
- 1 Paper Container - where visitors can dispose of all their mixed paper types together
- 1 Newspaper Container - where visitors can sort out their old newspaper collection for disposal
- 1 Glass Container - where visitors can dispose of any colored, non-tempered glass
- 1 Metal Container - where visitors can dispose of clean, non-hazardous metals, such as household tin and aluminum cans
- 3 Plastic Containers - where visitors can dispose of clean, non-hazardous plastic items #1 - 7; please note that this does not include Polypropylene (Styrofoam), nor should plastic bags or film be disposed of in these containers
- 2 Plastic Bag Containers - where visitors can dispose of clean plastic bags
- 1 Milk Jug Container for Cloudy #2 Plastics - where visitors can separate their cloudy #2 plastics, such as milk jugs, for disposal
- Confidential paper documents for shredding
- Oversized recyclable items (such as large boxes full of books)
- Reusable surplus items
4. LEED Certified
- 5 solar powered light poles
- Rain gardens with native Michigan species
5. Great Location
With Halloween just a week a way, we wanted to arm every Spartan with tools for having a “Spartan green” holiday by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Tip #1 – Reduce energy use in your decorative lighting by using LED lights.
Tip #2 – Buy a reusable “trick-or-treat” tote, or reuse an old pillow case for collecting candy.
Tip #3 – Once Halloween is over, recycle your old pumpkins in a compost pile or by bringing them to the MSU Surplus Store to compost.
Tip #4 – Reduce carbon emissions by choosing a “trick-or-treat” location within walking, biking, or bussing distance from your home.
Tip #5 – Save old Halloween costumes or donate them to places like the MSU Surplus Store so they can be reused.
Tip #6 – Recycle any leftover paper or plastic packaging from your Halloween candy.
Tip #7 – Try to match the amount of candy you buy to the number of “trick-or-treaters” you expect to reduce the chance of excess candy going to waste.
Tip #8 – Choose reusable decorations that you can keep year after year or donate.
Tip #9 – Support recycling markets by purchasing holiday decorations and party wear made from recycled materials.
Tip #10 – Get crafty and make you Halloween costume and decorations out of upcycled or repurposed items.
For more ideas on having a “Spartan Green” Halloween, visit the following resources: Ten Green Halloween Tips; 25 Unforgettable Homemade Halloween Costumes Made from Recycled Materials; Recycled Halloween Crafts. Or, come to the MSU Surplus Store to find locally grown pumpkins, or that perfect accessory for your DIY Halloween costume.
Bike, walk, bus, run, skateboard, or even drive (if you must) to the MSU Bikes Service Center at Bessey Hall, on Saturday, September 13th, for MSU Sustainability’s first-ever Bike-In Movie Night. The movie chosen for this event is “The Clean Bin Project,” a story about two people who attempt a year of waste-free living. The movie will begin at 8PM sharp and will be projected onto the back exterior wall of the Bike Center. Guests are welcome to sit in the grass between the Bike Center and the Bessey Hall parking lot, and are encouraged to bring their own blankets or folding chairs.
Admission is free and open to the public, and starting at 7PM the Eat at State On-The-Go Green Food Truck will be on site for guests wishing to purchase concessions items. But remember that we are trying to make this a zero-waste event, so please bring any drinks or snacks in reusable or recyclable containers and dispose of any waste items in the recycling and compost containers provided during the event.
In case of rain or inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for a later date. For more information regarding this event, call (517)355-1723 or email email@example.com.
No, it’s not green popcorn or green ice cream, or even green eggs and ham. Concession’s manager Alan Wilkinson has taken the group’s sustainability efforts to new heights—and has become a national leader in the process.
It’s been a long time since Alan Wilkinson has seen a MSU football game – even though he’s been at Spartan Stadium for nearly every home game in the last 15 years.
“Yeah,” the MSU Concessions Manager laughs when asked about being a spectator. “I haven’t really been able to watch a game since I was in high school. But
even though I can’t see the field itself, I feel like I always know what’s going on in the stadium—you can just tell by the atmosphere of the event when the team is doing well. You can feel it in the air.”
Wilkinson and his Concessions team are old pros at reading the atmosphere at MSU events. The department, headed by Wilkinson and his management team of Justin Evans, Dale Nagele and Alex Terranova, provide food and beverage options to thousands (if not millions) of people during more than 400 events each year. That includes the big events like football and basketball, as well as smaller or less frequent events, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Walk, the MSU Car Show or Vet-A-Visit.
“No matter what the size of the event, we always want to be part of the fun,” said Wilkinson. “People come out to watch the team, see a show, or walk around the exhibition, but we want to make sure that Concessions is part of that fun time. We’re always looking for opportunities for Concessions to contribute, to make a difference.”
That attitude of making a difference extends beyond providing food and beverage options to hungry fans and participants during the event—for Wilkinson and his team, it also meant finding ways to make a difference before anyone shows up and long after they’ve gone home.
Sustainability Before, During and After
For many years prior to Wilkinson’s leadership, the concessions team had been donating leftover food items to Lansing’s Food Movers Program and recycling cardboard regularly. But as Michigan State’s sustainability efforts began to ramp up, Wilkinson knew Concessions had to be part of the solution as well. That meant taking a look at the entire life cycle of concessions products — from sourcing, product selection, preparation and disposal — and finding new and creative ways to lessen the impact on the environment and keep as much out of the landfills as possible.
“We’ve made a focused effort on offering regionally made food at MSU events, which cuts down on shipping waste and gives us a chance to showcase local food,” said Wilkinson. The group has also made a point of selling reusable cups and mugs at events – making them collector’s items in some cases.
Concessions has been recycling cardboard and plastic for decades, and uses all paper products – they no longer use any foam — and the group works very hard to get to zero waste in the back of the house. But the biggest impact came when they looked at ways to reduce food waste from products not eligible for donation.
Make the Garbage Can Really Small
When the anaerobic digester came online at Michigan State, Wilkinson and his group were some of the first to look for ways to contribute. An anaerobic digester is an oxygen-deprived, heated, sealed tank where organic waste decomposes quickly, producing methane for fuel, and MSU has the largest system on any college campus in the United States.
“We really wanted to get started on sending inedible food waste to the digester instead of just having to throw it away,” said Wilkinson. “I didn’t want to wait; I kept asking, and we realized that we could use bins that weren’t working for the residence halls.”
The containers that had originally been used at the residence halls for food waste were becoming problematic because the handles had an area that leaked – and with the variety of food waste coming from the dining areas, it was getting pretty messy. Concessions knew those same containers would work well for their purposes, since they usually deal with opened, pre-packaged dry items, such as pretzels, popcorn and buns.
“So we went from having one huge container in each concession stand that was overflowing with trash, we replaced it with three containers: a 55-gallon bin for plastics that goes to recycling, the 30-gallon for food waste that goes to the digester, and we made the garbage can really, really small.”
Those efforts have made a huge difference: the group currently send between 500 and 800 pounds of food waste per football game to the digester—food that would have gone to the landfill in the past.
Wilkinson credits the sustainability success to the teamwork between all the groups on campus, particularly the service provided by the Recycling Center.
“They have been instrumental to making this work,” Wilkinson said. “They send us 90-gallon gondolas where we can dump all the collected food waste, then they will take them to the digester, empty them, rinse it out and bring it back to us ready-to-use. It’s been a fantastic team effort.”
Wilkinson is also particularly proud to be part of a department and campus so committed to sustainability. “Nationally we are at the top of our game in terms of concessions food recycling- and that includes pro venues. Honestly, I don’t know of any other university concessions program doing a food recycling program. It’s great to be part of a university that can look for new ways to make a difference. We want to be Spartan Green.”