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    SUN: 12PM-5:00PM

    MON-FRI: 9:00AM-8:30PM

    SAT: 9:00AM-5:00PM

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    235 Main Street
    Center Moriches, NY 11934

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Sustainable Libraries Initiative

In early 2023, our library became part of Suffolk County Cooperative Library System’s new Sustainable Libraries Initiative, to ensure the continued ability of the library to serve our community in the best way possible. This involves evaluating our library to become more environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically feasible. 

Check back here for updates on this exciting new endeavor! 

March 2023

March 21, 2023 – Waste Audit

On the first full day of Spring, March 21st, 2023, members of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative team completed our Trash Audit. For one full week, we safely collected the garbage produced at the library (excluding restrooms) with the intention of discovering what type and quantity of waste we are producing. With this information, we would be able to more effectively set our goals and determine best practices regarding waste reduction, recycling, and waste diversion. 

After sorting and weighing our collection, we came to a few surprising observations as well as some not so surprising. Of the 83.95lbs of waste, 17.6% of it was recyclable, leading us to think that perhaps we can come up with more effective ways of streamlining recycling in the building. One of the items in the recycling category was magazines and while that itself was not surprising, we discussed the possibility of developing a mechanism to put out free magazines to the public for teachers/students to take and/or making arrangements with a nursing home to rehome some of the magazines. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the number of glass items and plastic water bottles was very small. We only had 1 glass bottle and we attribute that to the partnership the library has with the Town of Brookhaven providing us with a glass recycling container onsite. 

An observation that came as quite surprising to all of us was that only 3.3% of the waste was compostable. Considering the library not only has a full staff kitchen where many eat their meals, we also have a café that serves food. While we did not collect waste from the café during the collection, we did collect the waste from the library’s lounge area that is adjacent to the café.  

The most surprising observation we made was the amount of paper towels that were present in our waste. Considering we did not collect from any restrooms, there was an excess of paper towels. This will be discussed at length at future SLI team meetings to determine what we can do to mitigate the amount of paper towel waste the library produces. Another surprising realization we came to was the amount of garbage bags being used. 

One of the categories of waste we used was “other” which made up 10% of the waste we collected. In this category we placed items that perhaps required more research, thought and examination. In this category we placed books and while there was only a small number, these books were deemed unusable at the time of discard. We plan on investigating ways of properly recycling books that are no longer able to be used as they were intended. Another interesting find in this category was the amount of disposable coffee cup lids. While we were pleased to see that some parts of the disposable coffee cups could be recycled, we would like to see an increased use of reusable coffee cups. 

March 2023 – News Article

Our library’s recent sustainability efforts were highlighted on page 12 of the March 2023 edition of The Tide of Moriches and Manorville.