Past Recycling Events


Tiger Blue Goes Green DayOctober 8th, 2013 the University of Memphis celebrated its 6th annual Tiger Blue Goes Green Day with over 1,500 attendees. This day is unique to the University of Memphis as it was created by our campus faculty, staff, and students to celebrate our commitment to sustainability. The day starts off with a group bike ride to campus. Following the bike ride, many local green businesses and non-profits come together with our university green initiative leaders and groups to host a full day of education and awareness for sustainability in our community and on our campus. A free healthy lunch is served and many networking opportunities are made at this event. Our recycling program is always front and center with recycling bins placed all over the event floor and our recycling booth handing out great giveaways along with information about how to recycle on campus.

See more photos from Tiger Blue Goes Green Day 2013.


Recycling WeekThe month of November was especially busy for our recycling team this year. November 15th is the National America Recycle Day; it was also the week of our last McKellar Lake Cleanup and the Kickoff of our Million Pound Challenge. So we dedicated a full two weeks to celebrate recycling. We also wanted to draw attention to how all these different events relate to one another, specifically the relationship between litter and recycling. We found that all the trash from McKellar Lake was actually litter carried by storm drains from the city and most of what we collected was RECYCLABLE! We know recycling to be a financial gain for our university and so we had to campaign to stop seeing "money go down the drain!" To bring attention to just how much litter our campus produces in a week, we had volunteers take the place of our landscape staff to pick up litter on campus for 2 hours a day for one week. At the end of the week we collected all the litter and placed it in the center of campus for all to see. It was a great visual. Cigarette butts were collected separately since it is the number one litter item. The mountain of litter was surrounded by booths from UofM Recycling, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, Memphis City Beautiful, and Memphis River Warriors. A mountain of trash was sure to bring an audience, so we used this opportunity to kick off our Million Pound Challenge. The Million Pound Challenge is a year-long challenge created by our own UofM Sustainability Office to recycle one million pounds by June 2014. Hopefully more will contribute to this goal instead of littering.

See more photos from Celebrate Recycling Week 2013.


Green Fair

May 2013, St. Jude held its annual Green Fair for all the employees and students of the local St. Jude campus. Our UofM recycle team was there to promote our campus recycling efforts and to answer any questions about recycling in general.


In addition to our recycle program's new Shred Service, with secured bins available for loan to campus departments, we also held a mass Shred Day in July 2013. We host a shred day like this one at least once a year that is free for all faculty, staff and students to bring any confidential documents and have them shredded by a mobile shred truck located on-site. This annual shred day helps to relieve our UofM Shred Service which can be easily overwhelmed with work orders near the end of the fiscal year, so a quick mass purge was the ideal fix. Campus faculty, staff and students were excited to have the service for free and by the end of the day we collected a total of approximately 15,000 lbs. of shredded paper to recycle!

Shred Day  Shred Day


OutreachFairely High School Green Fair, Sept. 2013
The UofM Sustainability Program has had a sudden interest from local high schools to have our team come talk to their schools about how to start or maintain a school green club and particularly how to start a recycle program. The UofM Sustainability Office and recycling team met with Fairely High School, Central High School and Memphis Catholic High School during the fall 2013 semester. Our recycle team joined other community sustainability leaders in a Green Fair at the Fairely High School in September 2013, an effort organized by St. Jude Research Hospital. We hope to help the schools succeed in reaching their sustainability initiatives. We are very excited to see future college students already taking an interest in sustainability.


New Student Orientations are key to the development of our recycling program. This is the first time, and likely only time, that we will be in contact with many of these new students throughout the year. It is imperative that we use the Information Fairs throughout the summer to let the new incoming students and even their parents know how to recycle on campus and what our goals and expectations are when it comes to sustainability. Each student is given a magnet with all the information about what and where to recycle on campus.



McKellar Lake

McKellar Lake Cleanups are back again and gaining a lot of attention and volunteers along the way. The original group that initiated the cleanups was the UofM Honors Club, however the effort quickly starting gaining new members from all areas of campus and the community, so they developed a new name called Memphis River Warriors. The UofM Sustainability Program is always an active part of these events by bringing our recycle crew and compactor truck to retrieve as much recycling as possible from the litter that is collected at the event. 3 cleanups were scheduled for fall 2013, each cleanup being a 2 hour long event: September 21st, October 19th, and November 16th. From just these three recent cleanups the recycle crew was able to collect a total of 2,288 lbs. of recycling and there were approximately 150 volunteers that came to each cleanup! Living Lands and Waters and Memphis City Beautiful are also active in making these cleanups possible. More McKellar Lake Cleanups will be held in the spring of 2014. Since the cleanups began, more than 50,000 lbs. of trash has been collected from the lake. Most, if not all, the trash comes from storm drains carrying litter from the city to the waterways and eventually ended up in McKellar Lake. We realize that the bigger issue to solve here is littering and so we strive to make that a larger campaign in the near future. McKellar Lake Cleanup on the news.

See more photos from the McKellar Lake Cleanup.


On April 22nd, 2010, the University of Memphis celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. The celebration was held in our very own TIGUrS Garden located just behind Rose Theatre. The Sustainability Committee - Operations, Tiger Dining, and the TIGUrS Garden Committee collaborated on making Earth Day a success. Free items such as reusable bags, mugs, T-shirts and recycle bins were given away in exchange for a bag of recyclable items! There was also a drawing for the one of a kind UofM bicycle! Many recyclables were collected and tours of our newly planted garden were given. A big thank you to the Student Green Fee and all the sponsors and participants in making this year's Earth Day so special!


RecyclemaniaFor the first time, the University of Memphis participated in Recyclemania. Recyclemania is a nationwide competition between colleges on who can recycle the most. The competition began on January 17th and ended on March 26th. The University of Memphis participated by focusing on recycling in the Tiger Den cafeteria, at the Women's Basketball Games, and hosting a Greek recycle competition. These events and groups were given the opportunity to recycle for the first time and after the competition was over the recycle bins remained in place! The University of Memphis is seeing a lot of changes this year!


Within two weeks, the Tiger Den cafeteria was able to recycle 1,323. 7 lbs! Thank you to our wonderful Dining staff that supported our efforts!

Women's Basketball Games

Never before have our sporting events offered recycling bins. Thanks to Recyclemania and the Green Team, we recycled at all of our home games on campus that resulted in a grand total of 427 lbs!

The Greek Competition

A month-long competition was held between all the fraternities and all the sororities. The winners receive a plaque and meal vouchers to our new University Center. Fraternities won the competition with a total of 706.6 lbs! Sororities also recycled 169.7 lbs! Thank you to all of the Greek organizations that participated in Recyclemania 2010.