Clemson University students Mathew Lindler, of Little Mountain, SC, and Lauren Fraser, of Charleston, NC, sort recyclable materials out of trash bags taken from around campus in front of Holtzendorff Hall, Nov. 14, 2014.  The green bags are full of recyclables that were recovered from trash cans around campus. The event was held by EcoReps, a student group on campus dedicated to promoting sustainability. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Mathew Lindler of Little Mountain and Lauren Fraser of Charleston sort recyclable materials out of trash bags taken from around campus in front of Holtzendorff Hall. The green bags are full of recyclables that were recovered from trash cans around campus. (Photo by Ken Scar)

CLEMSON — Three Clemson students dedicated to sustainability made a statement outside Holtzendorff Hall Friday by proving just how dedicated to the cause they are.

How dedicated? Enough to hand-pick through a heaping pile of wet and stinky garbage bags taken from trash cans around campus, sorting out the recyclables that would have gone to a landfill if not for their intervention.

The demonstration, which they call a “waste audit,” was to promote America Recycles Day, which is Nov. 15.

The sight of the three of them, dressed head-to-toe in white Hazmat suits digging through garbage bags one-by-one, stopped quite a few people in their tracks as they walked up Walter T. Cox Boulevard.

EcoReps sort through trash

Mathew Lindler, Lauren Fraser and Siliang Luo sort recyclable materials out of bags from trash cans from around campus. (Photo by Ken Scar)

That was the point, said Lauren Fraser, the president of EcoReps, the student group that sponsored the event.

“This is a statement,” she said. “Our goal is to promote sustainability on campus through the housing and dining atmospheres. We have these Hazmat suits on so we stand out. Students stop and want to know why we’re digging through trash. I really think it makes an impact.”

Clemson students Mathew Lindler of Little Mountain and Siliang Luo of Clemson were the other two EcoReps getting their hands dirty for a good cause.

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