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Overview of Waste Reduction Resources

At the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center, we manage MSU's waste as a resource. Each year we process between 20 to 25 million pounds of discarded material, including reusable goods, recycling, food waste and landfill-bound material. SSRC staff drivers collect material from across campus, including residence halls, academic buildings, offices, event spaces, MSU farms and select MSU Extension locations. 

Since 1987, when the campus recycling program began, MSU has slashed its yearly landfill totals in half! The annual amount of landfill produced per student has dropped by 66 percent!

On site, we operate:

  • The Surplus Store -- The "campus thift store" sells an enormous variety of secondhand items, plus Spartan collectibles and items unique to MSU. Staff pick-up items on campus and bring them to the facility for sorting and pricing.
  • The material recovery facility (MRF) -- Staffed largely by student employees, the MRF is the heart of the recycling center where six to eight million pounds of material pass through each year. In addition to typical recyclables, our program also diverts electronic waste and construction and demolition waste from campus projects.
  • The Grow Green Vermicompost program transforms campus food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment, diverting thousands of pounds of food waste from the landfill. The product is used in select gardens on campus and is available for sale through the Surplus Store.
  • Spartan Upcycle, creative reuse powered by Surplus & Recycling, hosts and supports upcycling arts & crafts activities. In doing so, we carve a path for students to rethink traditional definitions of value and purpose and ultimately discover that waste is not simply defined, but is a product of a specific time, place, and perspective.

Ways to Get Involved 

Join the Waste Warriors

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The Waste Warriors program, designed for staff and faculty, cultivates waste reduction and the utilization of waste as a resource by training and empowering the MSU community to promote these practices among their peers. Waste Warriors have the opportunity to pilot diversion programs for new materials, such as the Bucket Club for organic waste.

Attend Events

Join us for community events this summer! See the schedule.

Tour & Upcycle

Stay in the Loop

Recycling Guides 

Additional Waste Diversion Resources 

  • Utilize the MSU Community Reuse program
    • Donate select good condition items.
    • Recycle polystyrene (Styrofoam) and select electronics.
    • Find out what's accepted and where to bring the items. 
  • Shop secondhand at the MSU Surplus Store
    • Shop the online collections 
    • Shop in-person on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Plus, browse the Free Area near the store entrance. It's our last attempt at reuse for Surplus Store goods before recycling or landfilling. You never know what gems may be waiting for you!

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