Apartments with a Greener Complexion
By Joyce Benvenuto
If you are looking for a green place to live in Meridian Township, think “2900 Place.” Located on North Wind Drive near Grand River Avenue, this apartment complex is the newest “Green Star” business in Meridian Township.
This apartment complex recycles. What looks like an ordinary dumpster features eye-level door compartments for newspaper, cans, glass and plastic. When asked if residents toss their trash in the recycle bins, assistant manager, Brian Harris said, “No, not here. It’s not one of our concerns.”
2900 Place sits almost on the border of Meridian and East Lansing and serves mostly students who want to live as close to campus as possible. Its location keeps the complex rented to almost full capacity. An extra perk is that it is near the bank of the Red Cedar River, and the wooded area adjacent to the balcony apartments gives residents an ongoing treat of seasonal wooded charm. All this keeps the “green” idea going.
”Students nowadays think green. Many of them come in asking about the recycle options,” said Harris. “We have enough interest right here to make recycling part of the whole package.” He does not take credit for this himself. He acknowledges the leadership of former manager Cecelia Filko and the Sterling Group who owns the 231 unit apartment property.
About half of Meridian Township consists of multiple family dwellings, so although Granger Corporation offers curbside service to single family homes and dwellings of five units or less, the township can not truly say, “Meridian recycles,” until more apartments get on board the idea of “going green.” When approached about why they haven’t offered on-site recycling yet, apartment managers give various reasons: they have enough trouble keeping the trash area clean, let alone another bin --or when pressed, simply say that recycling is not part of their budget. Others feel that residents who want to recycle can use the recycling center on Lake Drive on the east side of Lake Lansing. This assumes residents have access to a car.
For apartment dwellers who wish to see recycling start where they live, a good beginning is to form a committee who would be willing to approach management with their concerns. Marsh Pointe, a senior citizen complex in Haslett, is a good example. A small group of 10 seniors have taken on recycling as their project. Once a week, those wishing to recycle place items outside their doors in brown paper bags. The committee walks the halls and collects. Management has even supplied carts for each floor to make the task easy. The committee takes it all to the Granger recycle container in the trash area and sorts and tosses into the bins: glass, newspaper, cans and plastic. Concerns and issues get into the monthly newsletter that goes out to residents. According to committee chairman, James Hayes, it’s all quite easy once residents are aware of the options.
For those potential renters who aren’t seniors or students, there are other “green” apartment options in Meridian Township. One is Edgewood Village, north in the Towar area. They have been recycling with enthusiasm for several years. Another is Arrowtree Apartments on Dobie Road.
Establishing successful recycling in Meridian Township has been the goal of the Meridian Township Citizen’s Recycling Advisory Committee now in its third year. Its most visible activity has been the ongoing recycling events, the fourth of which just this October brought in almost 1,000 cars and bikes with loads of green glass, Styrofoam and plastics to Nancy Moore Park. The group meets monthly to exchange information, educate itself and to pinpoint new concerns. Multiple-family housing is one of them.
For more information about the Citizen’s Recycling Advisory Committee or the Green Star Initiative, please visit www.meridian.mi.us or call 517/853-4466.
Brian Harris stands in front of convenient recycling container.