On Tuesday, April 19, Keene State College’s Reuse Room hosted an event to advertise its new location in the basement of the Joslin building. The room’s purpose is to serve as a space where people can donate things that they may no longer need, but still work perfectly well. The shelves are filled with various books, binders, folders, kitchen utensils, small appliances and many other everyday items.

KSC junior Chris Caterino works part-time in the Reuse Room organizing and updating the collection of free items. “Our Mission Statement is to take in free stuff and give it out to anyone who needs it, and at the same time reduce the waste of things that people can still use,” Caterino said.      

Before the basement of Joslin, the reuse room was located in the basement of Elliott Hall. Director of the R.O.C.K.S. program and An Advisor of the Reuse Room’s Student Staff Heather Greenwood said she remembers the old space as being “a little bit dark, [and] about a thousand degrees.” She said, “It didn’t have any natural light, and we were really restricted by the space. The Physical Plant department was very generous and they decided to give us this space.” She said that, previously, the space was used as storage, and after the Physical Plant department cleaned and painted the room they built a custom bookshelf out of hundreds of old Keene State yearbooks. Greenwood said, “It’s not just a place where you can go and get a book, it’s also a place where if you need to find binders or school supplies you can find them here, or if you no longer need that lamp in your room and it still works you can bring it here.”

The concept of reuse is part of the “3 Rs of the Environment,” which are reduce, reuse and recycle. Current senior and management major Joe Stacey attended the grand opening. Stacey said, “I think a program like this is really cool, because it involves faculty and students, and it just brings this conversation together about how to change the culture here on campus when it comes to cutting down on waste and being more thoughtful of our actions.”

The Eco Reps, student employes of the sustainability office, said they work across campus to promote sustainability and foster conversations about the environment between students, staff and the community.

Cary Gaunt Director of the Sustainability office was also in attendance at the grand opening ceremony. Gaunt said, “The students employed in the Eco Reps program are responsible for a lot of things, outreach and education throughout the entire campus, and one of their big projects this year is to start the process of banning disposable water bottles on campus.” Even though plastic water bottles are still sold on campus, the Reuse Room offers a select of many reusable water bottles. The Reuse Room is open every weekday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and open to any student or staff member who would like to donate or browse the selection.

James Harvard can be contacted at jharvard@kscequinox.com

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