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 for information regarding the competition.

Compost Troubleshooting Problems

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.

Symptoms Problem Solutions
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.

Holiday Light Recycling Collection

November 17th – December 5th

Not sure what to do with your old strands of holiday lights? Starting November 17th through December 5th, we will be accepting light strands for recycling at our public recycling drop off center. Light strands should be placed in the specially marked collection containers located at the drop off site, and we ask visitors to remember packaging, extra bulbs, plastic bags, string reels, and other items should not be placed in these container with the strands.

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