When Luther’s incoming students made their decision to come to Luther, they had no idea that they would be a part of one of the largest recycling projects this area has seen.
In January 2008 East Side School, a historic Decorah schoolhouse, was demolished. A local organization managed to retain some of the building materials from the school. Among those materials were 700 tons of brick and miscellaneous material. An estimated 20 percent of the total 700 tons is whole brick that can be reused.
Luther agreed to be a partner in the reuse of this brick, offering land to store the material while it gets processed—bricks are sorted and scraped clean of mortar.
This year’s first year community service project involved these piles of old bricks. Students hit the piles with gloves, masks, brick hammers and music blaring.
When the weekend was over, there were around 8,000 bricks cleaned and palletized, ready to be used for a new structure! Nearly the same number of bricks was sorted into piles for cleaning.
That weekend taught a good lesson—sustainability can only succeed with the collective efforts of individuals. The only way so many bricks could have been recycled was with the tremendous work of hundreds of students.