FSU Facilities receives state award for recycling efforts

Willie Wiggins

Kelsey Klopfenstein Published 10:30 a.m. ET Dec. 16, 2020

Willie Wiggins, the assistant director for Waste Management, has been a key player in the success of FSU's recycling program, which was recently honored with a Recycling Champion Award. (FSU Photography Services/Bruce Palmer)

Florida State University was recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Florida Recycling Partnership as a 2020 Recycling Award winner.

Specifically, Florida State was honored with the Recycling Champion Award. All of the 2020 Recycling Award Winners presented their programs during a webinar Thursday, Dec. 10.

“Many universities and businesses talk sustainability and have recycling programs, but Florida State doesn’t just talk about it or claim to have programs,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice president for Facilities. “We’ve developed and implemented practical results-based actions that make a real difference. I’m excited that the 2020 Recycling Champion Award recognizes the hard-working team who makes it succeed each and every day.”

The award praises programs at FSU that support the reuse of items on campus, like “Chuck it for Charity,” the Office Supply Reuse Room and Surplus Property. It also observes the work of FSU’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department, which recycled 1,322 tons of materials, composted 405 tons of materials and donated or re-sold 1,465 tons in its most recent year of tabulation.

“The long-standing success of our recycling program is a testament to Willie Wiggins’ commitment to making FSU the best it can be,” said Elizabeth Swiman, director of Sustainable Campus. “Willie is the backbone of this operation and his decades of work have allowed us to build success upon success so that we can serve our campus and sustainability goals simultaneously.”

Wiggins, the assistant director for Waste Management, has been with FSU since 1998. He manages the daily operations of Waste Management and Recycling and Grounds Maintenance activities, making him responsible for developing new and improved programs, procedures and methods to improve the efficiency and management of solid waste reduction recycling functions.

“FSU has a refuge waste stream of more than 6,000 tons annually that have the potential of landing in the landfill,” Wiggins said. “With the efforts of the FSU Waste Management and Recycling team, more than 2,500 tons are diverted from the landfill and recycled annually.”

Working closely with university departments and organizations, Wiggins tours the campus and inspects facilities to determine the need for services, trash containers, dumpsters and ground litter pick-up, and implements and promotes disposal and recycling initiatives.

“FSU Waste Management has been in operation since 1998 and though the years has implemented programs and partnered with Sustainable Campus to get the message out about recycling on campus,” Wiggins said. “The awards and recognition validate our efforts in managing the waste stream on campus and mean a lot to the Waste Management team.”

For more information about FSU Facilities, visit facilities.fsu.edu. For more information about the FDEP, which, visit floridadep.gov. To learn more about the Florida Recycling Partnership, which is a coalition of businesses and associations dedicated to improving Florida’s recycling rates, visit flrecycling.org.