Stop! Step away from the trash can with that apple core – those coffee grounds – that stash of used tissues. That’s worm food, and somewhere in south campus on the Student Organic Farm, there’s a hungry Red Wiggler worm (let’s call him Ralph), who’s longing for your organic waste. This summer, help feed worms like Ralph by joining MSU’s new Compost Club.
Sponsored by MSU Sustainability and the Student Organic Farm, the Compost Club will provide university employees with a landfill-alternative disposal option for their compostable organic waste (i.e. fruit scraps, paper napkins, tea bags, etc.). This means you, as the environmentally friendly, tree-hugging Spartan we know you are (even if it’s hidden deep inside), now have a chance to divert even more waste from your landfill containers.
Here’s how it works: For $20 a month (or less when purchasing at a multi-bin discounted rate), club participants will receive a 20 gallon collection bin, to be exchanged on a weekly basis via bike trailer (yes even our collection method is environmentally friendly). Once collected, the organic waste will be shred and delivered to the Student Organic Farm to undergo vermicomposting, a process in which worms (like Ralph) and other micro-organisms are utilized to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Compost produced through this program will then be used for growing vegetables and herbs at the Student Organic Farm, and will also be sold to the public through the MSU Surplus Store. All proceeds generated through this program will go towards supporting MSU Bikes and the Student Organic Farm operations.
So if you think about it, by joining the Compost Club, not only will your waste help feed worms like Ralph, it will go towards returning nutrients to an entire ecosystem, all while feeding the local economy. To learn more about joining the Compost Club, contact MSU Recycling at email@example.com, or by calling 517-355-1723.
You’re a good person. You make an effort to keep MSU as green as possible. You don’t litter. You recycle paper, soda cans and batteries. Heck, you even “recycle” text books from year to year.
So what’s the big deal if you don’t rinse your plastic utensils off before dropping them in the recycling bin? It never mattered before, so why is there a big push now?
The answer to that is called Operation Green Fence, which lies somewhere between your departmental kitchen sink and China. And it’s having an enormous impact on how environmentally friendly we can be at MSU.
The Big Green Fence
To understand what’s happening, you first have to know that for years, one of America’s biggest exports to China has been scrap and waste. Yes, that’s right:
Scrap and waste have been at or near the top of the Chinese export list for many years, even surpassing soybeans and aircraft parts at times. It’s a profitable export for the US — totaling $11.3 billion in 2011 alone. (It’s important to remember that scrap and waste aren’t necessarily garbage; they can be used as the raw material for new products. In essence, China and other countries help process these materials into their next best and highest use.)
There are many other markets and purchasers for scrap and waste—including domestic processors— and Michigan State works very hard to “recycle local” whenever possible. But China is by far the largest destination for a lot of scrap, and when the biggest player on the block makes a dramatic policy shift, the effects ripple through all markets worldwide. Continue reading
On Saturday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Michigan State University Surplus Store & Recycling Center will be hosting a free Public Electronics Recycling event to collect e-waste such as TVs, computers, DVD players, digital cameras and other items that have a plug or require batteries.
The collection is part of RecycleMania, a friendly competition among 461 college and university recycling programs across North America where schools vie for national recognition of their recycling and waste minimization efforts. Unlike other categories the E-cycleMania competition category is open to public giving the greater Lansing area the opportunity to support MSU in its effort.
There are no fees or limits for drop-offs, but the Surplus Store and Recycling Center only accepts residential waste (no commercial waste) and will not accept non-electronics, items with refrigerants such as dehumidifiers and refrigerators, or any household hazardous waste (paints, stains, medications) at this time.
The intersection of Farm Lane and Green Way will be blocked during the event, and visitors will be directed to enter the facility from Service Road. The Public Drop-off Center will be open for recycling, but the Surplus Store will not be open for Public Sale during that time.