Students build world’s largest cardboard box castle


In July 2010, BYU students broke the world record for the largest water balloon fight. This week they went for another new world record, this time to build the largest castle – out of cardboard boxes.

EcoResponse, a group of environmentally-conscious BYU students, teamed up with BYU Recycling, Student Wellness and several civil engineering students Monday to build the world’s largest castle made of recycled-cardboard boxes at Brigham Square. The previous world record was achieved by students at Harvard University last September, with a castle built out of 566 cardboard boxes.

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Students from EcoResponse, a group at BYU, attempt to build the World's Largest Cardboard Box Castle in Brigham Square Monday.
Amy Fortuna, a BYU sophomore with an open major who volunteered at the event, said she saw it on the BYU website calendar on Sunday and got really excited about it. She brought her two friends to Brigham Square.

“It looked pretty exciting, I mean, we want to kick Harvard’s trash,” said Fortuna and giggled about her joke with her friends. “I have friends at Harvard and they have their record, we wanted to take it from them.”

About 100 students, staff and local residents from an 8-year-old kindergartner to a senior citizen, worked together on the castle. Many students who were passing through and around the castle asked about the event and stopped to participate.

Timothy Rich, a BYU senior majoring in business management, was one student who joined the building.

“I just love, on BYU campus, when you come in through here by Brigham Square, and there is something new going on,” Rich said. “And a lot of times you’re just able to pitch in. That’s what I like about [it].”

Participants received a free green T-shirt or a Frisbee made out of recycled plastic bottles. As building progressed, the castle began to have arches, turrets and cannon towers. A local music band, Back Chat, sang on the packs of compressed cardboard boxes during the construction.

The entire castle was finished around 1 p.m. using 704 cardboard boxes. Cheers and applause were heard as students raised the main turret tower in the middle of the completed castle.

Bill Rudy, recycling coordinator at BYU Recycling who came up with the idea of building the world’s largest cardboard castle on BYU campus, said the purpose of this event was to promote Recycle Mania, an eight-week-period national recycling competition among 600 colleges throughout the nation. He said he would like to save the boxes from the event for another castle building event because other universities, especially the University of Nevada and University of Nevada at Las Vegas, are attempting to make the new world records.

“We are looking to make recycling fun and give it some visibility … If we can make this an annual event, I think that will be fun,” Rudy said.

Recycling is more than just conserving products, said Garth Liston, assistant manager at BYU Recycling who also participated in building the castle. He said Rudy’s idea was really interesting although he hoped the castle would be built in the shape of the Salt Lake Temple.

“Recycling is [also] a spiritual stewardship of managing the earth as the Lord would have us do,” Liston said.

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