Campus sustainability services and departments


MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center

Michigan State University diverts thousands of tons of material from entering landfills annually through comprehensive waste collection, processing and disposal services.

  • Learn about MSU’s on-campus recycling services.

    The MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center provides comprehensive recycling and waste management services for the entire campus including normal day-to-day recycling and waste needs, confidential shredding service, external recycling/waste containers, office clean-outs, and office recycling containers.

    Area residents along with students, faculty and staff can use the public Drop-off Center located at 468 Green Way, East Lansing, MI 48824. MSU’s Material Recovery Facility sorts recyclable materials into bales which are sold to end users for the manufacture of like products. 

    The MSU Surplus Store diverts usable materials from the landfill by providing an opportunity for campus departments and the public to purchase quality items for a bargain.

  • Learn about how to recycle on MSU's campus
    With key resources like residence hall recycling stations and the MSU Recycling Center, campus recycling has never been more accessible – but to divert maximum waste from the landfill, MSU needs the help of each and every Spartan. Find out where you can recycle, what items are accepted on-campus and more.
  • Learn more about supporting reuse by donating and purchasing items at the Surplus Store.
    The MSU Surplus Store collects unwanted items and materials from the MSU community and makes them available for resale at low prices, usually to other MSU departments. Departments purchasing used items save money and reduce the university’s overall environmental impact. The public may also purchase items for reuse during public sale hours or online.

MSU Bikes Service Center

The MSU Bikes Service Center offers a range of services for individuals or departments looking to rent, repair, buy or equip a bike.

SLE Sustainability

The sustainability efforts within Student Life and Engagement are focused on increasing awareness and driving behavior change within the residence and dining halls, with the ultimate goal of environmental stewardship in mind.

  • Find out how MSU RHS is reducing the impact of on-campus living, dining and events.

    MSU is committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy food system. Food comes to campus in a variety of ways, but the most influential factor in the university food system is Student Life and Engagement. SLE is working to reduce the university’s environmental footprint and close the loop on a sustainable food cycle through programs and partnerships. SLE Sustainability  strives to make increasingly responsible choices in food service sourcing.

    Composting, or speeding up the decomposition process of organic materials, is an essential practice for the university because it closes the campus food cycle loop. Currently, compost at MSU is produced via:

    • Anaerobic digesting: The South Campus Anaerobic Digester converts organic waste from MSU’s farms and dining halls into methane gas. The methane, a renewable energy source, is used to produce electricity for some of the buildings on MSU’s south campus. Solid materials that are left over after digestion are used in compost mixtures.
    • Vermicomposting: Worms digest food scraps and turn the material into worm castings, which are full of nutrients and micro-organisms that are beneficial for growing plants. Pre-consumer food scraps are sent to the Surplus Store and Recycling Center for vermicomposting, where the public can purchase vermicompost.

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities is the department responsible for the building and maintenance of MSU’s campus, and MSU has always been built with sustainability in mind.

  • See how IPF employs 'green efforts' across campus.
    IPF strives to ensure that the university's hundreds of buildings and vast landscape are operating efficiently, employing tactics in the areas of energy, water and infrastructure practices that help minimize environmental impact. Learn more about IPF's sustainable efforts.
  • View the Energy Transition Plan

    In 2009, MSU developed the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) to meet the growing needs of the campus, changing technologies and evolving regulations and proposed a bold vision to transition campus to 100% renewable energy. The ETP underwent a five year review in 2017. Learn about progress MSU has made with regards to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable energy on campus, as well as a recommendations for continued energy advancement.

  • Learn about MSU's commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge.

    The Better Buildings Challenge is a federal initiative through the U.S. Department of Energy that asks the nation’s leaders in energy proficiency to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Michigan State University took on that challenge for its 20 million-square-feet of contiguous campus. The university achieved its Better Buildings goal two-years early.

  • Find information about MSU's sustainable space heater policy.

    Michigan State University has established heating and cooling season building temperature policies to provide comfort conditions in support of the university’s educational mission while advancing MSU’s energy-conservation goals. Portable space heaters are prohibited on campus because they can create system imbalances, overload building electrical circuits and use a significant amount of energy. Learn more.


MSU Extension

MSU Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses.

  • Find out how MSU Extension brings campus innovation to local communities.
    MSU Extension often hosts events and workshops around the state that allow the public to get information from experts on topics ranging from livestock to nutrition to renewable energy. Visit their website to learn more about their commitment to ensuring that the discoveries made at MSU are accessible to the community.

MSU Water

Water is a vital resource within any community, and MSU enlists a range of tactics to ensure our water resources are clean and accessible for all.

MSU Purchasing

Michigan State University works with vendors to determine how their products and services can best meet MSU’s environmental stewardship commitment.

  • Learn about MSU University Services’ commitment to sustainable procurement.
    MSU encourages its vendors to use environmentally-friendly packaging and processes. When possible, MSU asks that vendors utilize sustainable or recyclable packaging materials. For example, loose packing material made from cornstarch or similar material, where practical, is preferred. Additionally, purchasing locally-grown food and locally-manufactured products lessens the impact on the environment and better sustains a healthy local economy. By reducing the distance between the farm or manufacturer and the market or consumer, the cost of transportation and pollution caused by transportation is substantially minimized. The university has also made local purchasing a priority in new building construction and major remodeling projects by using material extracted, processed and manufactured in the region. These partnerships connect MSU with the greater Michigan community and allows the institution to positively impact the local economy.

Transportation Services and Partnerships

With a spacious campus spanning 5,200 acres, the importance of reducing MSU's carbon footprint through use and promotion of green transportation cannot be overstated.