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Bayport-Blue Point library goes green

Bayport-Blue Point Library Director Mike Firestone stands in

Bayport-Blue Point Library Director Mike Firestone stands in the library's VHS video aisle. (April 19, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

The Bayport-Blue Point Public Library is doing away with the old in a new-age way.

The library this week launched the use of a GreenDisk Technotrash, a system that disposes of VHS tapes, CDs, cassette tapes and used printer cartridges in an environmentally friendly way.

Library director Mike Firestone said that over the next four months, the library will dispose of out-of-circulation materials -- primarily VHS tapes and audiobooks on cassette -- using the 10 Technotrash cans at the library.

He said the library purchases the cardboard shipping boxes from GreenDisk, fills them with up to 35 pounds of materials and ships them back. The company recycles the items and sends the library a confirmation email.

Firestone said the 10 boxes cost the library about $300, which includes shipping.

“That’s about $1 per pound to make sure all this is recycled properly,” he said.

Firestone said when he started in January at the Bayport-Blue Point library, he noticed a large collection of outdated materials and decided to weed them out to create more space.

The library will keep some of the collections, but it will dispose of anything that has not been checked out for more than three years or that has been acquired in a different technology.

“Unfortunately, we do have to cleanse out our collections sometimes,” he said. “We feel good about going about it green.”

He said the library will consider extending the service to the Bayport-Blue Point community in the future.

“We think that this can be part of our services to help the community,” Firestone said.

He said the library is also taking greener steps when it comes to books. He said that in January, the library began working with Better World Books, a third-party retailer that will attempt to resell the library’s out-of-circulation books; it returns 20 percent of the profit to the library.

If the retailer determines it can’t resell books, it attempts to donate them to a literacy program in the United States or abroad.

Above, Bayport-Blue Point Public Library director Mike Firestone stands in the library's VHS aisle. (April 19, 2011)


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