Reduce and re-use for revenue

The new recyclable paper bins scattered around campus may actually be putting “paper” into Florida A&M’s pockets.

Students around campus are working hard to aid FAMU toward becoming a more eco-friendly campus and student Chris Willis is no stranger those efforts.

Appointed by Ryan Mitchell, FAMU’s sustainability director, Willis is FAMU’s first recycling coordinator and he is not taking his responsibility lightly.

Willis is responsible for the new mixed recyclables containers disbursed around campus this semester, and works solitarily on this ongoing project.

Willis urges students and administrators to help legitimize and fund this program, because it will in turn be an investment for the university.

“It is important to get the university to realize this is a necessary program and once its funded bins can be bought for every area on campus,” Willis said.

“Instead of paying for trash pick-up, recycled items are retrieved for free. So the school saves money when we recycle.”

Not only would FAMU be able to save money, once the program gets off its feet, but the university will be able to earn money as well.

Willis has had receptacles, specifically for white paper, strategically placed around FAMU.

Once full, the paper is taken to the recycling center and exchanged for cash.

Although, Willis is not the first student making strives toward “go-green” initiatives, his trash for cash efforts are the first of its kind.

His efforts are not only gaining attention, but have impressed students in other recycling organizations around campus as well.   

Former president for the FAMU Green Coalition, Kiara Wright, said it’s really good to see students getting involved in the business of sustainability.

 “Anything new and created toward making FAMU a sustainable university, it means someone cares enough to take the time and do something about it,” Wright said. “Hopefully his actions will pass on to the more students.”

Despite, the major breakthroughs students have been making on the road to a better FAMU, not everyone has adopted the pro-eco trend.

Omari Brown, 22, fourth year broadcast journalism student from Chicago, said even though he does not recycle much, he appreciates the steps students are making toward improving FAMU’s campus.  

“The recycling bins are not only good for keeping our campus clean, but it’s even better for our environment,” Brown said. “It makes me want to recycle more.”

Willis expects that the program will eventually spread and even bigger developments will be made.

“In the future, I’m hoping we can invest in a paper shredder and bottle compacter, because we can use them to turn in items for money as well,” Willis said. “The goal is to lesson the amount of trash and save money for our school.”