South Central Regional Library Council's ReBusiness Partnership
Submitted by Jessica Philippe.
In February 2016, the South Central Regional Library Council went through the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste ReBusiness Partners Program which is “designed to support a local business or organization's efforts to reduce waste, increase recycling and composting, and adopt green purchasing practices.” An assessment was done to monitor existing practices such as recycling paper, plastic, electronics and used toner cartridges, and reducing waste through 2-sided copying, reusing shipping materials, hosting online meetings and webinars, and providing reusable dishware. The Recycling Specialists helped clarify which items are recyclable and which are not (i.e. takeaway coffee cups). They also identified areas for improvement such as implementing a food scrap recycling program, reducing junk mail, and purchasing green cleaning products and recycled content paper towels and toilet paper. After the assessment they provided a thorough waste assessment report, free recycling bins, decals, and signage, and they offered a reduced fee for food scraps recycling.
Since the assessment process SCRLC has continued to reduce the amount of paper used, and has donated unused office furniture, equipment, and electronics to member libraries and other local organizations. Composting is a goal for 2017. For more information about SCRLC’s experience with the program, contact Jessica Philippe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sustainability Spotlight is a weekly series that highlights community-driven, environmentally sound, and economically responsible programs and projects in libraries and other organizations. You can find more projects in the Sustainability Spotlight Archive or visit NYLA's Sustainability Initiative to learn more about how you can get started with sustainability in your library.