The MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center (SSRC) has grown from a program that began by recycling a single commodity (office paper) in 1988 to the comprehensive waste management program they have today. The SSRC is comprised of MSU’s Surplus Store, the Recycling Center, and MSU Bikes.
Since the completion of their new facility in 2010, they have been able to increase campus diversion rate to over 60%. The Surplus Store facilitates reuse efforts with the resale of items obtained from the campus community, such as electronics, office furniture, appliances, farm equipment, sporting goods, and almost any other item you can think of. The Recycling Center provides comprehensive recycling collection to the campus community and processes materials collected on campus and recycling drop-off site through the material recovery facility (MRF). The MRF annually processes over seven million pounds of material. Another opportunity they have been able to engage in across campus on reuse efforts is a partnership with MSU Bikes, which helps provide an outlet for the reuse of the hundreds of bikes left behind on campus each year.
The breadth of MSU’s program, from offering recycling on the front end in classrooms, dorms, and sporting events, to the back end in collection, reuse of items, and variety of materials accepted brings meaning to their highest and best use philosophy. Their goal every day is to bring waste reduction solutions, education outreach, and community engagement to campus. The MSU campus is an opportunity to educate the students, faculty, alumni, and visitors who come on the extended opportunities to value our resources after their use. So whether members of campus stay in Michigan for life or move to another state, MSU always strives to create an attitude around how people think about their waste and resources.
MSU’s hope is to expand waste diversion efforts in organic material. Currently, organic waste continues to make up over 30% of the waste stream and feels, as time continues, it will become necessary to increase the value on the end life of organic material. They would like to see continued commitment at the state level on the importance of increasing our statewide recycling rate. MSU is proud to bring our support to the Recycle, MI campaign by becoming a partner this year and hope that we can continue to facilitate growing recycling efforts in the Great Lakes State.