On Saturday, Oct. 1, the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center hosted their free Go Green Mini Fest.
Held inside the Recycling Center amid 15-foot piles of cardboard and plastic, the event allowed visitors to learn about MSU student organizations, tour the facility and browse through a collection of free clothes, books and CDs.
The event kicked off MSU's sustainability month.
Directly through the center’s hangar doors, MSU’s student-run radio station Impact 89FM hosted a table. The organization DJ’d the event and displayed a large spread of free CDs.
“We don't want to just throw them away,” food science senior Adam Steinhauer said. “I'd rather have someone else enjoy it, especially because it's someone's art, too. We want to give it away to someone that can listen to them.”
Visitors perused shelves of free books and rummaged through bins of free clothing.
Several student organizations were present, including the Spartan Thrift Club. Human biology sophomore and club Vice President Meredith Bell said the club is as social as it is sustainable.
“We try to connect students on campus to thrift stores off campus,” Bell said. “We do themed parties and stuff with thrifted themes going on. So we have a thrifted Halloween costume contest coming up.”
Sunrise MSU, a student organization that has long campaigned against the university’s investments in oil and gas companies, said they were invited to the Mini Fest.
“We came here to … see if we could drum up a few more members, get some signatures for the divestment petition,” member Jesse Estrada-White said.
MSU-made honey and soap were available for purchase. The soap sports a label that reads “Made from MSU Pigs,” and is made by MSU’s Meat Lab.
“They help feed the dorms and we also sell their meat in the store,” surplus store service assistant Michael Chapman said. He said food sales for the last fiscal year reached almost $70,000.
Tour guide and recycling and surplus operations manager Chris Hewitt said the facility receives about 5,000 pounds of cardboard per day, and 35,000 pounds during move-in. The 15 foot pile of cardboard near the entrance of the facility was about half a day’s worth, he said.
The tour showcased the facility’s new Material Recovery Facility, or MRF, a robotic sorter that quickly identifies and sorts different kinds of recyclable plastic. Facility workers nicknamed the robot Murph-E.
Hewitt also took participants through the facility’s outdoor vermicomposting operation. In a pair of hoop houses, food waste on campus is composted and converted into nutrient-rich soil as worms feed on it and produce waste.
Back inside, journalism sophomore Bella Seigo helped crafty Spartans create Halloween decorations with surplus fabric -- a ball of cotton stuffing, two sheets of laced gauze, a piece of string and a few buttons made a spooky sustainable ghost.
The MSU Recycling Center will host similar events in the future. The next event on MSU’s Sustainability Month calendar is “Move for Your Mood,” on Oct. 4, offering two sessions at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. at IM East.
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