Get lost in BYU’s Recycling Maze


Update: The recycling maze is located in the northwest corner parking lot of the Ellsworth Building. The building is located on University Avenue and 2230 North.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, Craig Pearson began organizing massive 1,500-pound bales of recycled materials to construct this year’s BYU recycling maze.

With his imagination, a paper map and a forklift for the heavy lifting, he began a day of precision construction. Finessing the joystick controls, he stacked the bales three high and then moved the stacks into place by lifting and pushing them. If he pushed too far, he had to wrap a chain around the two-ton, nine-foot stack and pull it back inch by inch.

[media-credit name=”Jamison Metzger” align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]He got through the shredded paper section, then the newspaper section and then started on the cardboard section, which was the largest. Pushing to finish within the day, he and a friend placed the last stack at 5 p.m. and walked through. After becoming disoriented within the labyrinth, they realized the recycling maze would be a success.

Pearson, an environmental science major graduating this semester, designed and constructed the recycling maze that, starting Monday night with FHE group night, will be open for students to explore and discover the amount of recycling done at BYU.

“There are 400 bales of paper here, which is 600,000 pounds,” said Bill Rudy, BYU recycling director.

Rudy said piece by piece, recycling at BYU adds up to 40 tons per week on average. He is in charge of gathering, sorting and baling all recycled materials on campus.

“This is something that other universities can’t do, because only two or three have a place where they actually process the paper and bale it themselves,” Rudy said. “So since we have this ability, we said ‘let’s do something fun with it.’ ”

The purpose of the maze is to increase awareness of recycling at BYU and to help motivate visitors to recycle.

“We wanted a message about recycling that was fun,” Rudy said. “Not about the rules, not about which papers to recycle where, just that we at BYU recycle a lot of paper, and look, we recycle so much we can build a maze out of it. Come and walk through, then when you go back to your school or your dorm or your house, recycle there, and we’ll use it in our maze.”

The maze is the second ever recycling maze. According to, it was beaten by one year by the Re-Maze in Rock City, near Chattanooga, Tenn.

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