Murray State University Recycling Program consists of education, promotion, cooperation and recognition. The success of these processes requires the services and cooperation of the Department for Facilities Management personnel. Those specifically involved include staff in the Building Services Division, Grounds Division, Transportation Services, Facilities Finance and Administration and the Office of Environmental Safety and Health. The University most actively recycles paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum cans. In addition, it recycles more than 30 other items.

The Building Services and Grounds divisions are responsible for educating the University faculty, staff and students. Staff attend Freshmen Orientation classes and provide sessions for staff and faculty to share the Two-Part Process the University Recycling Program follows. Other departmental staff assist in teaching faculty, staff and students through the use of videos, displays, oral presentations and brochures/mailings. 


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.


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 in the bin 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 - Maintenance and Distribution
Facilities Management's part of the recycling process consists of building service technicians collecting the recyclable paper, cardboard, plastic 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. Gaylord boxes are used to keep the various grades of paper separated. When a Gaylord box is filled, it is placed onto an over-the-road trailer.


Cardboard is picked up by the building service technicians and carried outside to the dumpster areas unless it is raining, then the solid-waste handling crew picks up the cardboard the next day. Cardboard is bailed at the Recycling Center and loaded onto the trailer with the paper. When the trailer is completely filled, the load is hauled to various processors in the region.


Aluminum cans are retrieved from vending areas by solid waste personnel also. These cans are placed in separate containers. When filled, these containers are loaded onto a truck and sold to a nearby vendor. Additional items building service technicians collect include magazines, telephone books, textbooks and newspapers. Facilities Finance and Administration personnel receive and submit work orders to initiate action by the Grounds Division staff to fill.

The Office of Environmental Safety and Health is involved with the recycling procedures due to EPA guidelines. Because of the mercury and metals in fluorescent tubes and computer monitors, Murray State recycles them also. 


Additional Materials Recycled


Transportation Services is responsible for recycling used motor oil and filters; tires; mineral spirits; antifreeze; batteries (wet); and freon. The division also recycles faculty, staff and students' used motor oil and batteries (wet), when delivered to the shop behind the Department for Facilities Management Complex, 615 Gilbert Graves Drive, Murray, Ky. For more information about recycling used motor oil or batteries (wet), please call 809-4770 during normal week day hours (7 a.m. - 4 p.m.).


Inventory Control
Inventory Control, of Procurement Services, is mainly responsible for the recycling of computer monitors, printers, keyboards, cables, and CPUs. In accordance with EPA guidelines, computer monitors may not be taken to a disposal facility. Therefore, the Grounds Division of Facilities Management works hand-in-hand with Inventory Control to assure that all computer parts are recycled. Inventory Control will pick up used computers and their accessories. For additional information, please call 809-4435 during normal week day hours (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) and Central Receiving, of Procurement Services, collect and recycle the toner cartridges on campus with the assistance of the University Recycling Program. Personnel in University departments call Central Receiving, at 809-6986 during normal week day hours (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), and request a pickup of used toner cartridges. CTLT has supplied Central Receiving with the proper mailing labels and keeps a record of the toner cartridges that are returned to a specific vendor who provides Murray State with technology points for free lap top computers, digital cameras and other technological equipment. The University Recycling Program continually educates and encourages the faculty and staff to recycle toner cartridges.


Bonus Materials
Because Murray and Calloway County community residents support recycling, the University Recycling Program cooperates with them. The Murray City Make-A-Difference Days began in 1996 in an effort to provide local citizens with a place to recycle paper, used motor oil, used eye glasses, aluminum, glass, plastics and food staples. Make-A-Difference Days are held on the Roy Stewart Stadium parking lot on a bi-monthly basis. Murray State receives many books and binders from faculty and students throughout the academic year. Books and binders are also recycled by the university libraries and various departments on campus. The books are offered and delivered to local schools and correctional facilities. The binders have been collected and donated to the Murray Need Line.


Promoting the University Recycling Program is the responsibility of the Grounds and Building Services divisions. This is accomplished through the use of educational media presentations, bi-annual campus-wide surveys, and word of mouth. The Grounds Division personnel set up promotional displays and the proper containers needed at special events. They distribute campus-wide mailings which include surveys and the Recycling Update newsletter. The Building Services Division personnel are in contact with faculty, staff and students daily. The building service technicians have the opportunity to educate and encourage faculty, staff and students on a personal level.                            


The university also utilizes the Recycling Line (809-3183) as a tool to provide faculty, staff and students with information concerning questions and work orders.


More than 11 million pounds of material have been recycled in the past decade due to the successful efforts of the campus community including faculty, staff and students. The two-part process is just the beginning of what the campus community has contributed to the recycling efforts at Murray State. Building service technicians remove numerous bags of recycled paper from campus buildings after normal work days (Monday-Friday). Many, many departments take the time to recycle their discarded mail, catalogs, file folders, telephone books, and remove staples and paper clips.


Residential colleges cooperate with the two-part process as well. All dorms contain large marked mixed paper recycle containers in the mail rooms and other areas. Small red and blue containers are located in the front lobby for administrative paper recycling. Also, recycling cardboard is encouraged as a means to trim the amount of waste material that is thrown down the trash shoots. 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. These collection days bring in approximately 7,000 to 10,000 pounds of cardboard that would have occupied landfill space.


The University Recycling Program recognizes outstanding faculty, staff and students for their efforts on campus. Recognition for the enormous efforts made on campus has been delivered in a variety of ways. University personnel and students have been given Environmental Awards for individual efforts made on campus.


"A great team effort" was used to describe Murray State University at the Governor's Awards Luncheon on Oct. 2, 1997. The university was officially recognized for its efforts in energy reduction. "Energy awareness is clearly demonstrated by the involvement of university personnel," said James Bickford, state secretary for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet. Murray State staff focused on three areas in which they reduced energy consumption: heating/cooling, elevator drives, and lighting.


The University Recycling Program has saved more than $200,000 in tipping fees in the past decade and was recognized in 2000 with the Who's Who in Recycling Award by James Bickford, state secretary for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet.