FAMU adopts green initiative

As the end of the school term nears, the Florida A&M University Green Coalition are collecting unwanted textbooks and phone books as part of a recycling initiative

The textbooks will be collected from Dec. 1 through Dec. 10 and donated to Better World Books, a for-profit social venture with plans to fund local literacy initiatives. The phone books will be collected from Dec. 3 through Dec. 5 will be recycled through the City of Tallahassee. 

Better World Books either sells the donated books to raise money for nonprofit literacy programs or they are recycled if unsuitable for sale or partner use. 

The coalition said they support Better World Books because when books are left over from a book drive they are usually thrown away and Better World Books recycles left over. 

Christopher Gassam,18, president of the FAMU Green Coalition, from Chesapeake, Va., said this prevents good reading materials from being wasted.

“If books aren’t being donated to children for literacy then they are being thrown away,” Gassam said. “Better World Books doesn’t want to give anyone old textbooks so the donated books have to be less than 10 years old.  If the books are older than 10 years, Better World Books recycles them.”  

The FAMU Green Coalition is heading another project on campus that involves getting rid of old, unused phone books.  The City of Tallahassee Solid Waste Services department is providing recycling barrels to FAMU so they can collect the phone books for recycling. 

LaRae Donnellan, the faculty advisor for the FAMU Green Coalition, started the phone book recycling project. 

“The idea came about when I was sitting in a faculty meeting talking about recycling on campus, and my colleagues were commenting about how many old phone books they had and wanted to get rid of,” Donnellan said.  

She spoke with Paul Hurst, Tallahassee’s recycling coordinator, about recycling phone books on FAMU’s campus. 

“At the CANpaign, Hurst said he would help us recycle phone books so now it’s happening,” Donnellan said.  

For the second year in a row, the FAMU Green Coalition won the Campus CANpaign Challenge for collecting more aluminum cans than Florida State University. 

For any questions about the project or if you may be interested in collecting textbooks or phone books you can contact LaRae Donnellan at (850) 561-2765.