New Recycling Program at VSU

By Ben Wolf
Monday, April 16, 2007

A truck filled with eight tons of paper used by VSU students on its way to the city's Department of Public Works.

"They are certainly using more paper per person than the average citizen in Valdosta, so right there you have a lot of white paper," said Valdosta Mayor John Fretti.

Valdosta State and the City of Valdosta are now working hand in hand on a major recycling initiative. The university has spent nearly $60,000 on recycling containers and a recycling vehicle.

School officials are also excited to pay crews of students to collect the recycling.

"They go a long way. You get a lot of bang for your buck with them," said Greg Gordon, who is the associate director of VSU's physical plant.

Another group is pitching in too is S.A.V.E., or "Students Against Violating the Environment, helps with collecting cans and bottles in university dorms.

"We have a long way to go but we're definitely moving in the right direction," said VSU student Russell Anderson.

Everyone involved is expecting big things.

"If we could reduce the hauls to the landfills by 50 percent to 60 percent, that would be I think achievable and a great accomplishment," said Gordon.

There are nearly 11,000 students enrolled at Valdosta State. Both university and city officials believe that large a population can have a major impact on the local environment.

The recycling initiative originally began to take shape at the beginning of the fall semester.