How to Recycle If You Live Off Campus

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Every day, we hear about issues of global change and extreme waste of food and energy in the United States. It is our personal responsibility to change the way we live our lives in order to slow the destructive pattern humans have developed, with the ultimate goal to reverse it. It can be overwhelming to read and think about all the damage that has been done, or like anything you try to do will be just “a drop in a bucket.” Small changes to reduce your economic footprint can make a huge difference if enough people commit to change.

There are accessible resources available to MSU students living on campus when it comes to going green. The Be Spartan Green Initiative has made sustainability a priority of the university. Recycling bins of all sorts can be found all over campus. However, once students move off campus, it can be difficult to know where to recycle. Three good resources for off-campus students are the MSU Recycling Center, the East Lansing Department of Public Works, and the East Lansing Curbside Recycling program. Depending on where you live, one of these options might be better for you!

Drop off recycling at the MSU Recycling Center is open to Greater Lansing Area residents, 24/7. The address is 468 Green Way East Lansing, MI 48823 (just south of the intersection of Farm Lane and Service Drive). You can drop off nine different types of materials including books and all colors of glass. By viewing the Recycling Guide on their website, you will be able to figure out how to best sort your recyclables. Although the MSU Recycling Center allows you to recycle many materials, it’s far from most off-campus student housing neighborhoods. This is a great option if you have a larger car that can fit all your recycling bins!

The East Lansing Department of Public Works also offers drop off recycling 24/7. Located at 1800 E. State Road, this could be closer to some off-campus student housing options than the MSU Recycling Center. You’ll need a car to transport your recyclables, but it accepts a multitude of items. Check the Recycling Guide on their website to understand what you can bring.

The City of East Lansing also offers curbside recycling for eligible residents. It requires a 96-gallon recycling cart, which was provided by the city in 2015 to single-family homes, duplexes and small, multi-family homes with up to 20 units. If you just realized you had that green bin at your house or apartment and never used it, good news: It’s very easy to start! This recycling program is “single stream,” which means you don’t have to waste time sorting through your materials. If it’s found on the Curbside Recycling Guide on their website, throw it in the bin.

If you live off campus, consider these recycling options. Any changes you can make to your lifestyle will make a huge difference in slowing global change, reducing waste, reusing materials and energy, and creating jobs in sustainability.

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