The student-led program is one of several coordinated through a partnership between the University of Louisiana System and Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the state’s non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to litter prevention and waste reduction. The UL System and its nine universities joined forces with KLB as part of the Health Communities Grants program. KLB has awarded the UL System $30,000 to implement a series of projects around Louisiana.
Each school involved is going to do a service-learning project based on America Recycles Day,” Maxile said. “Our campus event outside Kyser is intended to educate students about recycling. We encourage students and faculty to take the recycling pledge.”
The SGA is encouraging everyone to wear green on America Recycles Day. The SGA will provide recycle bins onsite for those who would like to drop off recyclable materials like newspapers, bottles, etc.
“With your signature, you pledge to find out what can be recycled in our community — which for us is paper, plastic bottles, aluminum and cardboard — so individuals can identify what they are going to be recycling. They can recycle soda cans, water bottles and used printer paper,” said Steve Gruesbeck, director of Service-Learning at Northwestern State.
Maxile is exploring the feasibility of creating memo pads from partially used paper.
“It’s a positive way to reuse paper and is actually better than recycling,” she said.
“Part of the funding for this is coming from the University of Louisiana System’s Extreme Clean Makeover grant proposal, a $30,000 grant the ULS received from Keep Louisiana Beautiful. This $30,000 is going to be spread out equally across each of the nine UL System campuses in an effort to increase and enhance recycling awareness, litter abatement and participation levels at each of the nine UL System campuses and their respective communities,” Gruesbeck said. Northwestern State will spend part of its allocation on t-shirts and reusable water bottles that promote recycling and initiatives that support next spring’s campus-community cleanup day. The SGA is making proposals to match those funds.
“Keep Louisiana Beautiful has been encouraging recycling awareness and litter abatement for a long time. They recently have been interested in getting colleges involved,” said Gruesbeck, who served as a panel moderator at the KLB conference in New Iberia last week. “This is a concerted effort for the entire UL System to rally around recycling and litter abatement. The intent is not only to keep our campuses beautiful, but the communities in which we are located. All SGAs on all campuses in the UL System are taking part.”
Northwestern has been a Tree Campus University for several years, Gruesbeck said, and is committed to keeping Louisiana beautiful through recycling and cleanup efforts.
“Each UL System school has a tradition of serving the communities in which they reside. This partnership with Keep Louisiana Beautiful will allow all nine universities to engage students, faculty, staff and community members in efforts to promote waste reduction, litter abatement and recycling. With 93,000 students in our system, we hope for meaningful and lasting impacts from these projects and are thankful for KLB’s support,” said Wayne Parker, UL System Board of Supervisors Chair.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be partnering with the nine universities through the UL system,” Leigh Harris, KLB Executive Director, said. “We have seen how passionate college students are about philanthropy and the future. We are happy to provide an opportunity to engage with them toward making a real difference in our state.”