The MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center (SSRC) doesn’t just service campus and its valued students, it also provides students with various opportunities to unite with a common mission in mind. That mission is worn proudly on the SSRC logo: “managing waste as a resource.” The SSRC can prepare students for jobs in sustainability while also providing a healthy and unique work environment.
Rose Mcaloon is a SSRC student employee who works in the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). She is a junior at MSU majoring in Environmental Economics and Management. One of her favorite things about the SSRC is its impact on the campus community.
She described how the experiences she has had while working at the SSRC can be translated across many different fields of sustainability. She explained that while she loves seeing the gradual positive impacts that recycling can have on a community, she is also interested in turning a collective goal into action. One of the main ways to do this, she said, is to get involved in the lucrative aspects of the business.
“The market of recyclables is really interesting, especially when you’re seeing how the money flows” Mcaloon said. She expressed the importance of widespread community support in evoking change in the way waste is managed. “Things aren’t going to change if there isn’t an economically sensible option.”
Bianca Alagon is also a MRF student employee. Currently a Sophomore at MSU, she studies Arts and Humanities. Alagon found the SSRC’s service to the campus community as an inspiring feature of her workplace.
“The most prominent part of this job that I’ll take with me in the future is knowing all these different ways to reach a community and using them to better it.”
With community service a large part of her major, Alagon described how glad she was to understand the hands-on involvement required in the field.
“It’s so cool to see what goes on behind the scenes,” Alagon said. “A lot of students might not notice how much work goes into servicing everything so they might not appreciate it as much. That’s why I want to learn more about this type of work.”
Alagon expressed appreciation for her coworkers as well. “Everyone works so hard toward a common mission.”
One recurring theme circles the students of the SSRC. Outside of the labor experience that employees gain, students get access to a passionate and caring community. This opens the door for employees to gain insider knowledge about the processes of the industry they potentially want to enter while giving context to the tangible impact of the work they do.