Near FAMU Village dormitory, the FAMU Environmental Health and Safety Department in partnership with the FAMU Sustainability Institute celebrated the opening of the University Recycling Center, using President Dr. Elmira Mangum as the ribbon cutter for the ceremony today.
The center will serve as a hub for students and faculty to recycle paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans that will be later collected, sorted and processed. It will also be used as a workspace for student interns and volunteers to assist the university in becoming a zero waste campus.
Angela Sutton, the Director of FAMU Environmental Health and Safety, attributes the creation of the center, a former old storage unit, to students.
“Basically we hired interns to come in and plan for the operations of the center,” Sutton said. “Their main objective was to survey the center and determine what they would need for it to function. One student even purchased a drafting table from an auction with her own money.”
In recent years, the EHS department has maintained the recycling program with other companies to help process and collect recyclable materials across campus. Students at FAMU have even made efforts as large as collecting over one thousand pounds of aluminum cans after a football game hosted at Bragg Memorial Stadium, earning FAMU 12th place in the Division I Football Championship Division for gas house reduction.
Ariana Uwaibi, a junior, Environmental Science student from Tallahassee, is one of the few students that volunteers a few hours of her time to collect recyclable materials after football games. She is excited about the opening of the University Recycling Center.
Uwaibi said, “On campus there is not much recycling at all and for a while it was hard to find a recycling bend. I am very much into the environment, so I would have to fight for the opportunity to do it here.”
Alexandra Grayson, a senior Electronic Engineering student from Atlanta, Ga., is an intern for the EHS Department. She thinks the addition of the center on campus is a great thing for safety reasons. Prior to renovation efforts, the facility was an ideal spot to process materials, but it was in poor condition.
“It’s an amazing that the center is finally here and looks the way it looks,” Grayson said. “Before it was dangerous in there. I was responsible for the measurements and the layout of the building. Now, I’m able to get in the car and pick up bottles and containers and put it into the bailer to be shipped out, making recycling much easier here.”
The university has plans for the center to continue sustaining. According to Grayson, grants, outside funds and compensation for recycling efforts will keep the facility up and running.
Before cutting the ribbon, President Magnum added a few words to welcome students and faculty to the opening on the center.
“It is important that recycling becomes apart of your life so it is not something you have to think about but that it become ingrained in everything you do,” Magnum said. “It is fitting that we should be here today and I am excited by Environmental Health and Safety becoming apart of us establishing this center. It is just the beginning of what we have in store for our students as well as for our community.”
The University Recycling center is located at 644 Gamble Street. For more information about volunteering or the FAMU Recycling Program, contact Angela Sutton at 850-599-8108