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Surplus & Recycling Town Halls

Join us for a Surplus & Recycling Town Hall

The MSU Surplus Store & Recycling Center started hosting virtual Town Halls in June 2020. Hosted on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook, these events give us an opportunity to answer your questions and present on topics of interest. Have a suggestion for an upcoming Town Hall? Contact the Education Coordinator at 


Upcoming Town Halls: Click to Register

April 22, 2021 @ 7 p.m.: Waste Not! Learn How to Conduct a Home Waste Audit

Want to cut back on your waste and track your success? You can! Join MSU Surplus Store & Recycling and the Office of Sustainability for a demonstration and explanation of how to conduct a household waste audit. We'll show you how to get a baseline measurement of your waste, challenge yourself to improve your zero waste habits, and then re-evaluate your waste footprint.

Follow along as we sort through our trash, discuss what we discover, and share our experiences as we strive to “waste not.” Attendees will learn how to conduct their own audit, receive tips to shrink their waste footprint, and hear about the joys and challenges of the journey to zero waste.

Hosted in partnership with the MSU Science Festival. Stay 'til the end for a special treat from the Surplus Store. Register to receive the link to attend via Zoom. > 

May 27, 2021 @ 7 p.m.: Extended Producer Responsibility - What's their part?

When it comes to recycling and reducing waste, we often hear consumers being told to "do your part." So, what is the part of the producer? What responsibility do they have to the products and packaging they create and sell? We’ll discuss this topic in our May Town Hall, led by guest speaker, Lea Dyga, Spartan class of '21 and former SSRC staff member.

Lea will talk generally on what EPR is, how it is used to incentivize producers to consider the end-of-life of their products and packaging before sending an item to production, and how we can use EPR to shift the physical and/or economic burden of disposal off of consumers. Lea will also share her research into EPR-related policies in the Great Lakes region.

This event will be hosted as a meeting (rather than a webinar) and the audience will be invited to ask questions and share thoughts on the topic. Stay 'til the end for a special treat from the Surplus Store. Register to receive the link to attend via Zoom. > 


Past Town Halls: Click to View Recording

March 2021: State of Recycling, with EGLE

Tune in for a conversation with Matt Flechter, recycling market development specialist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). In a casual live interview, SSRC's manager, Kris Jolley, will talk with Matt about the state of recycling in Michigan. Topics will include EGLE’s goal to triple the recycling rate and the economic impact that would have on the state. An open Q & A session will follow. Stay 'til the end for a special treat from SSRC. 

February 2021: Recycling MSU's Paper, with WestRock

Join us for a conversation on the ins and outs of paper recycling and manufacturing. We will be joined by Jeff Weaver from WestRock, the Michigan company that processes MSU's paper and fiber materials. Jeff will walk us through the recycling process from start to finish, including how the paper is collected, prepared into post-consumer stock, marketed, and used in new product manufacturing. 

January 2021: Zero Waste Habits

For most of us, adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is a journey of small changes. Let’s talk about habits that help us walk the walk! You will hear from SSRC staff on what we like to do and you will be invited to share what works for you. This event will be hosted as a Zoom meeting, so during the conversation portion you will have the option to speak and/or turn on your camera.

December 2020: Upcycled Holiday Cheer!

Upcycled Holiday Cheer, featuring DIY demos by MSU Broad Art Lab Studio Educator, Britta Urness. Find out how you can incorporate upcycling to make your zero waste holiday dreams come true! We'll also share about the Spartan Upcycle Store -- how it came to be and where we see it going.

November 2020: Closing the Food Cycle Loop with Spartan Worms!

MSU's Worm Whisperer, Worm Wizard, and Worm Warrior discuss SSRC's new vermicompost operation, which turns campus kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost (sold in the Surplus Store) through the amazing digestive power of worms! Campus worm composting started a decade ago under Dr. John Biernbaum, of the Horticulture Dept., and SSRC is thrilled to carry on this critical waste diversion strategy.

October 2020: Brokering our Commodities with Special Guest, Jill Brown of Metro Recycling

In this special Town Hall, guest Jill Brown, of Metro Recycling, joins us to discuss brokering our commodities and the impacts  of international regulations and COVID-19 on the recycling industry

September 2020: Surplus Store Update

This reuse-oriented Town Hall focuses on the history of the MSU Surplus Store & current operations, including an overview of online listings, curbside pickup, vehicle sales, auctions and more.

August 2020: Recycling Beverage Containers

A talk on the ins and outs of recycling your beverage containers -- plastic and glass bottles, metal cans, and cartons. Where do they go? What happens during processing? What do they become? Plus, you'll find out how we keep it local.

July 2020: Preventing Contamination

In this conversation with MSU Surplus Store & Recycling Center staff, you'll learn what contamination is, why it's bad for recycling streams, and how to recycle right.

June 2020: Drop-Off Center Updates

With the Drop-Off Center reopening around the corner, we'll talk with you about what safety precautions we're taking and highlight a couple important changes to what items we will be accepting.