Grambling State University is doing its part to make the planet a little greener, replacing one trash bin at a time in a new campus-wide recycling initiative.
Grambling will soon be the home of 12 recycling bins by the beginning of March. An additional eight green recycling bins will join the four that replaced Waste Management trash bins behind the Athletics building and dormitories as part of a university-recycling program that began Nov. 15, 2014.
Grambling celebrated the expansion of its recycling program with a Recycle Mania event in the Favrot Student Union on January 22 with free food, games and giveaways made out of recyclable materials.
Members of the community also viewed a display of art from students at Grambling Middle School and Grambling High School. The Creative Recycling Challenge contained works of art made completely out of recyclable materials. In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, many of the students focused on projects related to Black History.
In addition to added recycling bins, Grambling is also partnering with the city of Grambling to gather recyclables within the city. Though plans are not yet complete, Mayor Edward Jones said the cooperative could begin with a shared location where both members of the public and the university could drop off their recyclables.
“The citizens are elated about the prospect of recycling,” Mayor Jones said. “They have been asking me when we are going to get started. We are happy to be a part of that process. It’s environmentally sound for us to have a recycling project in the city. It should make a huge impact on what we have been throwing in the garbage, as opposed to what we will be recycling in the future.”
Grambling has plans to turn the recycling initiative into a long-term project that will both help save the planet and generate income for the university, which eventually plans to build a Recycling Profit Center in GSU’s West Campus.
In the long run, Grambling would also like to partner with the city of Ruston, Louisiana Tech University and other surrounding communities and colleges.
“We do not have the resources at the moment to collect residential recycling, but eventually, we would like to recycle for all of northern Louisiana. That would be our goal. This is a commercial venture, as well as a save-the-planet venture,” said John Rosenthall, vice president of Research Advancement and Economic Development at GSU.
Beginning a recycling program will not only save energy and reduce landfill space, but it can also save the university money by reducing the amount spent on trash being picked up from the campus.
Grambling is partnering with Pratt Industries, a company with recycling and recovery facilities in eight states.
“It reduces waste. It’s better for the environment,” said Mandel Davis, a procurement representative developer at Pratt Industries who is also a 2003 graduate of GSU. “It keeps your campus clean, and it’s very easy to recycle, and you can generate an income at the same time.”
“It makes me proud to come back and do something that will benefit the university. Pratt is very proud to reach out to universities and cities to have a recycling program,” he said.