We’re rethinking at our ground-breaking new store & recycling center, where we are able to REDUCE the amount of university materials that go to a landfill through innovative reuse and recycling projects. And it’s working: through rethinking every step of the process, just last year we were able to divert more than 50 percent of the 30 million pounds of materials we received.
So just how do we do this? First we REUSE. We collect materials from the MSU community and look for ways to put them to use – either by making them available back to MSU (in lieu of purchasing new items) or display them for sale at our retail store or online. When you’re rethinking everything, anything is possible, so we’re constantly looking for new ways to make the items available for REUSE, such as partnering with local charitable organizations that may have use for specific goods and other innovative projects (have you seen our recycled glass conference table?)
When we find items that cannot be reused, we look to RECYCLE. All recycled materials go through our Materials Recycling Facility, where they are sorted and baled as appropriate. For example, basic recycling such as white paper and corrugated cardboard are sent mill direct to be turned into recycled content paper and cardboard. Some items, such as technology, require specialized handling, and we continually work with our vendors/partners to ensure all the byproducts of recycling are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
In the future, our aim is to increase the amount of university materials we keep out of landfills to more than 90 percent. We’re already making great strides toward this goal by expanding into construction and demolition recycling, green glass recycling and investigating niche recycling areas.
Because once you GO GREEN at Michigan State University, we want you to STAY GREEN.