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Recycling Program

Murray State University's Recycling Program has been active since 1990 and consists of education, promotion, cooperation and recognition. The University most actively recycles paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum cans. In addition, it recycles more than 30 other items. Since 1990 the various recycling programs on campus have recycled over 13,000 tons of materials. We currently divert around 33% of our total campus refuse and hope to achieve 50% in the near future. The recycling program maintains a Recycling Line (809-3183) for faculty, staff and students with recycling questions and concern. The program also holds a Recycling Day from 8 am till noon on the first Saturday of each month at the North Farm Road recycling facility. Citizens and students may bring their mixed paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, books and motor oil to be recycled on this day. 

Recycling at Murray State is a two-part process: Your Part and Our Part.

Your Part: Source Separation

There are three containers next to most desks at Murray State: A blue container for white office paper. A red container for mixed office paper. A neutral (tan, brown, green, etc.) container for trash. There are also recycling bins for aluminum, plastics (#1 and #2) and paper in most all buildings on campus. Your part in this process is source separation. Source separation is the key to Murray State's recycling success. Sorting paper at your desk is a key factor in the success of the University Recycling Program. Placing the cardboard on top of the recycling bins in the halls is done most efficiently, if you break the box(es) down first. If you have numerous boxes to remove, please call the Recycling Line at 809-3183.

Our Part: Gather | Sort | Transport

Maintenance and Distribution Facilities Management's part of the recycling process consists of building service technicians collecting the recyclable paper, cardboard and aluminum cans, and placing the materials in separate plastic bags. The bags are then identified with either a blue tag (for white paper) or a red tag (for mixed paper) affixed to it. The building service technicians carry these identified bags to designated areas on campus. The solid waste handling crew of the Grounds Division then removes the recyclable paper from the dumpster areas and delivers the material to the recycling building where materials are again sorted and bailed (cardboard and paper bailer pictured above) then shipped to recycling facilities. Soon Facilities management will also be sorting through much our our refuse to divert as much recyclable materials as possible in an effort to reach our goal of 50% diversion.

Residential Colleges

Each residential colleges maintains a recycling committee that coordinates and cooperates with the two-part recycling process. All dorms contain large marked mixed paper recycle containers in the mail rooms. Small red and blue containers are located in the front lobby for administrative paper recycling. Each dorm also has plastics, aluminum and carboard recycling bins. An annual event held in August is the Move-In Day Cardboard Collection. This is a united effort of Facilities Management personnel, housing personnel, students and their families. Many of the residential colleges also have water filling stations which greatly reduces the use of through-away plastic water bottles on campus.

Make a Difference Day

MSU has supported the community’s Make a Difference Day since 1995, by hosting the event in the Stewart Stadium parking lot. We have worked with the city and the county to form the Community Recycling Coalition as well, in order to purchase the equipment and help process material from the three entities. Make a Difference Day Recycling Totals (1995-2013)

  • 27,092 tons of paper
  • 106,100 tons of aluminum
  • 130,000 of glass
  • 17,250 gallons of oil
  • 40,000 tons of books
  • 40,000 (ABCD) batteries
  • 100s of thousands of eyeglasses, cell phones, inkjet cartridges, shoes/clothes and computers

Recycling Grants and Awards

  • 1997: The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award
  • 2000: Kentucky Who’s Who of Recycling
  • 2007: Awarded a Kentucky Recycling Grant in order to purchase an automated horizontal bailer
  • 2009: Awarded a Kentucky Recycling Grant in order to purchase a glass pulverizer
  • 2013: Awarded a Kentucky Recycling Grant in order to purchase a conveyor sorting system

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