Michael Morris says he is probably one of the least “green” people you’ll ever meet. But as Technical Director in the Fine Arts Division at Temple College, he sees a lot of recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard and plastics just being thrown in the trash. And he figures it is probably the same on other parts of the campus.  “Having no campus recycling program, our only choice has been to throw things away,” Morris says.

That’s why Morris decided to step up and organize a campus recycling program himself. He arranged meetings with the City of Temple’s Recycling Coordinator, Dawn Orange, and has enlisted employees from across campus to serve as members of the college’s new “Green Team.”

“I wanted to have the option and choice to divert our recyclable materials from the landfill,” Morris says. “And I figured that others might want that same choice. I see our recycling program being a win for the City of Temple, the city’s landfill, Temple College, and our entire community.”

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Recycling bins have been placed outside four buildings on campus, including this bin outside the Watson Technical Center.

Orange said that diverting recyclables from the city’s landfill helps prolong the life of the landfill, which is the only landfill in the seven-county region.

Before classes started for the spring 2016 semester, the City of Temple delivered four 96-gallon green-colored recycling containers to campus to launch the recycling program. These containers will be placed at strategic collection areas outside four buildings on campus: Watson Technical Center (WTC), the Arnold Student Union (ASC), One College Centre (OCC) and the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The containers will have information on them as to what can and cannot be placed in them. Items that can be recycled include aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles and food containers, newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail, telephone directories and paperback books. Items that cannot be recycled include styrofoam, glass, aluminum foil and plastic bags. A separate container for recycling clean cardboard will be located by the maintenance building.

The city will pick up materials in the bins each Friday, and the recyclables will be taken to a facility in Austin that is owned by Balcones Resources. A video on how this company processes the recyclables may be seen at balconesresources.com.

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Michael Morris (right) and Reid Lewis are co-captains of the “Green Team.”

In addition to Morris, members of the “Green Team” include Cathy Coe-Clune and Dinh Lam, who will be collecting recyclables in the Watson Technical Center; Jan Bogucki, who will be collecting recyclables in the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center; Tami Lam, who will be collecting recyclables in the One College Centre; and Reid Lewis, who will be collecting recyclables at the maintenance building and the Arnold Student Union.