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Recycling today for better tomorrow at GSU

Pictured is the baler GSU students are using to bundle cardboard in order to turn it over to a company for recycling. (Staff photo)

Reduce, reuse, recycle — it’s a phrase heard more and more by advocates of increasing future sustainability in all aspects of life.

And Grambling State is part of that push to make the world a better place in the future.

Dr. Edwin Litolf, Vice President of Finance here at Grambling State University, has started a program involving students packaging cardboard for recycling. Dr. Litolff came to GSU from Southeastern University, which has a sustainability program he is looking to recreate at GSU.

“Tiger Recycling,” as this project is called by student worker Mierra Simmons, collects the cardboard from various areas around campus, including athletic shipments, the bookstore, and computer shipments. 

That cardboard ended up in piles in GSU’s Property Receiving Building, but now those piles are being bailed by students to be transported to a recycling center at a later time once enough tonnage is compiled to make such a transport/transport financially feasible. The process of bailing is to compact the recycling so that more of it can be delivered in an efficient manner.

This project is made possible by the hard-working students and Dr. Litolff, who is still actively recruiting student for the project.

Pictured is a bale of cardboard that has been packaged for transport to a recycling center. (Staff photo)

“Students pay $1 a semester for recycling and that fund has built up with nothing being done with it (the material being collected). We went to Campus Beautification and asked if we could buy a baler,” Dr. Litolff said.

Litolff has helped students receive work study since last May and reduced the number of large dumpsters on campus which saves the school money. Expansion is also on the minds of Dr. Litolff and the student workers who want to partner with McCall Dining Hall to increase the amount of recycling being taken in.

Solar panels, improved recycling and a sustainability center to reduce energy consumption on campus are examples of what Dr. Litolff is planning to bring to GSU. The cardboard recycling project can be seen as a beautification project, but those involved see it as an opportunity to reinstill pride in keeping our campus clean.

“In reality the ratio of students to our groundspeople is off — we will produce more trash than they will ever be able to pick up,” said Felix Johnson, another student worker involved in the project.