Worms basked in the sun Monday afternoon as they worked to compose the food and paper waste around them on the Lory Student Center Plaza on America Recycles Day.
John Anderson, the chief at Garbage Busters, brought the worms to demonstrate the benefits of composting as a way to recycle some waste items.
"The best thing is it doesn't stink," Anderson said. "(Food waste) starts to stink, but not when it's (decomposed waste)."
At noon, Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez officially proclaimed the day America Recycles Day and commended Fort Collins and CSU for their recycling efforts.
"Fort Collins has got a ways to get to that point (other city's recycling heights)," Martinez said. "But we're going to get there. It's a tremendous stride we're taking here (by using wind power)."
Adam Kremers, the associate director of environmental affairs for the Associated Students of CSU, spoke to students on the Plaza about recycling's benefits. He said CSU was one of the first universities to offer students living in the residence halls or in university apartments the option of having wind power used in their rooms for the price of $17 per year in the halls and $26 per semester for the apartments.
The University of Northern Colorado has also expressed an interest in using wind power, Kremers said.
"We need to do our part to help preserve the earth," said Kremers, a sophomore studying environmental engineering. "It can help out in a lot of ways. You don't need to not drive your car, you can just recycle and help out."
Housing and Dining Services and the CSU Recycling Committee helped out with the day and will also help out with Earth Day in the spring, said Tana Fischer, a custodial assistant at Summit Hall.
"We contacted a bunch of businesses and asked them to come and show what they do for recycling," said Sheela Backen, the integrated solid waste manager at CSU. "Fifty percent of our waste (at CSU) is recycled."
Businesses such as New Belgium, Whole Foods, Recycled Cycles and Gallegos Sanitation were all present, in addition to the Department of Natural Resources.
Randal Brown, a graduate student studying social work, won a bike donated by Recycled Cycles to be given to a student who filled out an "I pledge to recycle" card. The other pledge cards will be entered in the national drawing for a Ford Hybrid Escape.
Efforts such as the wind power option and composting at the CSU Foothills Campus using pet waste from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital are a few things that Backen said have been implemented recently.
Backen said it is important for people to recycle.
"Our landfills are filling up and you can't just bury it," Backen said. "It doesn't go away. It comes back to haunt you."
Several students said it was a good thing to have America Recycles Day on the Plaza.
"(I recycle) whatever they let me put in the bins," said Andrea Hamilton, a junior business management student. "It just seems wasteful to just throw it away when we can reuse it."
Evan Rutberg, a junior studying English education, also emphasized the importance of doing something useful with waste.
"I think I'd feel really guilty if I didn't (recycle)," Rutberg said. "As a student I have a lot of paper waste and to know it's going somewhere good is cool."