Library wants to go zero-waste

6 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Building on the growing going green discussion taking place in Maine libraries, the Star City’s public library plans to become a zero-waste facility to become more environmentally friendly and reduce costs. 

Library Director Sonja Eyler told city councilors about the future plans for the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library during a budget workshop at City Hall on Oct. 11.

“Ultimately, my vision is to create a zero-waste library to reduce our waste removal costs and to lift some burden from our local landfill,” Eyler said. “The goal is to change some practices so that items traditionally thrown away are reused.”

At the moment the library spends around $1,300 annually for waste removal, she said.

“Reducing this cost would benefit our taxpayers directly since our funding for waste removal is granted through our city,” she said.

Eyler admitted that practicing as a zero-waste facility won’t be easy.

“It means changing the way we think about waste and managing products and processes differently. It will take some time,” she said.

She referenced the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor. The coastal Maine library made zero-waste presentations just last year and Eyler said more libraries are continuing the discussion on cost-saving measures and ways to be sustainable.

“We’ll look at our paper products for the custodial care of the building and attempt to reduce our use of, for instance, paper towels. Additionally, we’ll increase our recycling efforts and encourage people to use reusable book bags instead of the plastic we currently offer,” she said.