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IUPUI University Library launches electronics recycling program as latest green effort

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis University Library is launching a small electronics recycling effort as its latest program to support the campus commitment to sustainability.

In cooperation with the local nonprofit RecycleForce, University Library is now accepting used items such as cell phones, tablets, chargers or curling irons — almost anything with a cord — which RecycleForce will dismantle and recycle. Students, staff and community users can drop off such e-waste items at the library’s second-floor circulation desk during regular operating hours.

RecycleForce is a social enterprise offering some of the most comprehensive and innovative recycling services available while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals.

The newly launched recycling program is the latest in a number of changes in services, space and planning that University Library has instituted as green efforts in recent years.

The new Learning Spaces III collaborative study environment, which opened in 2012, was created using a range of renewable materials, such as cork and carpet made of recycled fibers

Library staff last year reset all public printers in the library to a double-sided printing default. This shift is estimated to save up to 1.2 million sheets of paper per year.

Since 2009, a special group of library staff, known as the Green Team, has helped lead the unit’s commitment to environmental sustainability, planning and implementing a number of changes to make a positive difference in the library and the campus community. The Green Team applied for and received an IUPUI “greening grant” to install water bottle filler stations at key points in the building.

The Green Team has also collaborated with the student group DIGS, or Developing IUPUI Gardens Sustainably. And the Green Team is working with the IUPUI Office of Sustainability, the IUPUI Honors College and an outside nonprofit to advance a project to bring native landscaping to the perimeter of the library building

“What I appreciate about the library’s Green Team is that they have accomplished real change,” said David Lewis, dean of the University Library. “When they take on a project, there are results. Sometimes the changes are small, but taken together they add up.”

Located at 755 W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of the IUPUI campus, University Library is a public library, serving nearly 1 million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources, including signature collections such as the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library, the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, the Herron Art Library and over 60 digital collections.

Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card. Librarians and library resources are available on the University Library website.