March 28, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU, SAVE Encourage Reduction of Solid Waste

Pictured, from left to right, are Alexis Jackson, SAVE chapter member and a freshman environmental geosciences major from Savannah; Sarah N. Mensah, SAVE chapter president and a senior speech communications major from College Park; and Helena Krumbacher, SAVE chapter vice president and a freshman undeclared major from Oslo, Norway.

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University and Students Against Violating the Environment (SAVE) are encouraging the campus community to reduce, reuse, and recycle solid waste.

Founded in 1988, SAVE serves as a forum for environmental education, as well as a medium from which students can collectively voice and effectively incite social change by inspiring, educating, and promoting recycling and environmental sustainability on and off campus.

“My time as an intern at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce has taught me that it is the responsibility of each of us to build, maintain, and advocate for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable society by recycling on and off campus,” said Sarah N. Mensah, SAVE chapter president and a senior speech communications major from College Park. “Recycling is important because doing so allows us to lower the amount of natural resources we use to make products by reusing those materials. It helps reduce the size of our landfills and allows us to protect animals and the environment by preventing habitat destruction and soil erosion associated with logging and mining.

“Students, faculty, and staff should recycle on and off campus for all of the above reasons but especially because we use more paper on campus than anything else,” she continued. “This includes worksheets, homework assignments, sticky notes, and those last minute essays. If one ton of recycled paper saves 12-17 mature trees, imagine how many we could have saved this semester. Imagine how many we could save during and after finals week alone.”

SAVE frequently partners with Valdosta State University Plant Operations to assist with the VSU Recycling Program.

“The VSU Recycling Program mainly consists of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, and some cardboard,” said James Muzzey, assistant director for Campus Services. “Recycling containers are located in almost every building on VSU's campus, typically in hallways and lobbies. VSU Recycling utilizes the building custodians and student employees to gather the recycling from campus and deliver it to a location where the City of Valdosta collects the materials. VSU employs several part-time student employees to help manage the recycling.”

Muzzey said Valdosta State University and the City of Valdosta have been working cooperatively together for almost 10 years to provide recycling services to the students, faculty, and staff on campus.

VSU follows the same rules for collecting recycling that the City of Valdosta provides to its residents, including rinsing out containers and breaking down cardboard.

VSU received 40 Coke bottle-shaped recycling bins in 2015 from Keep America Beautiful and the Coca-Cola Foundation.

“The recycling team hopes the unique design of the containers will grab the attention of faculty, staff, students, and visitors and make it easier to recycle,” said Muzzey. “The containers are at the P.E. Complex and are used for many of the VSU events held outdoors on the front lawn.”

While VSU’s Physical Plant is responsible for organizing the logistics of the VSU Recycling Program, they believe an important ingredient is customer participation.

Through the active participation of students, student organizations, faculty, and staff, Valdosta State University can continue to foster a successful recycling program and educate constituents in the VSU community on how to make recycling an accepted, and expected, norm.

Visit to learn more about the steps VSU is taking to reduce solid waste.

Contact James Muzzey at or (229) 333-5938 for more information.

On the Web:,-keep-america-beautiful.php

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit to learn more.