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Sustainability in the Library: Initiatives


The library has taken on many initiatives, spearheaded by the library's Sustainability Team, to promote and encourage more sustainable efforts. 

"Greening" Up the Lounge

The library Sustainability Team is working on a multi-year initiative to "green" up the lounge. What this means is that the team is identifying ways that sustainability can be incorporated into everyday use of the library's staff lounge. The team has started to bring in plates, silverware, and other kitchen utensils that the staff can use and share. This effort cuts back on the disposable waste that is being produced with plastic silverware and plates. 

picture of dishes on a shelf

Plant Party

The library is home to multiple varieties of plants. The Sustainability Team, with help from the library's student workers, is working on learning more about our species of plants as well as making sure we properly maintain them (sun, water, soil, etc.). We have recently taken to sharing some of the information about our plants out on our social media platforms. Each plant was given a unique name by our student workers. See the links below to see the individual posts. 

Recycling Masks

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of disposable masks has increased exponentially. These items are typically meant for single use and then disposed of in the garbage. The Office of Sustainability has found a way to recycle masks through Terracycle. One of the boxes is now located in the library for the campus community to use for recycling masks! 

Photo of box that collects masks for recycling


The library's Sustainability Team has worked to make recycling easier for the members of the library. Starting in Fall 2020, the group has placed two bins in the lounge to collect items that are hard to recycle. These items are either tied to recycling offered through the Office of Sustainability or through local area organizations, like the Otsego Reuse Center. 

Some items that the library has collected through the bins are: 

  • toothpaste containers
  • markers
  • batteries
  • bottles and cans

See the pictures below to see some of what the library has recycled so far! 

Image of dental hygiene products collected for recycling

Photograph of Donated Toothpaste tubes

Photograph of Items to be recycled