Recycling Program Saves Money

submitted by Jim Schultz, Facilities

Michigan Tech has had a formal recycling program for nearly a decade and, during that time, several hundred tons of paper has been recycled. During much of that time, the University was paid for recycled paper; but in recent years, due to poor market demand, this is no longer the case.

Nevertheless, the price to haul recyclable materials away is currently half the cost of disposing of other waste, and the program saves Michigan Tech approximately $31 per ton. This past year Michigan Tech recycled about 143 tons, saving the University more than $4,400.

Our vendor for recycling and waste disposal is Waste Management. The firm uses a process called single-stream recycling, which allows materials such as paper, metal and plastic to be recycled in the same container. Previously, individual bins were needed for each type of material to be recycled.

You may have noticed recently the addition of several blue containers in the buildings with signs nearby listing what can be recycled. Some people still are unsure about what is or is not allowed in these containers, so here are some guidelines.

* Almost all paper or cardboard, with the exception of food containers, paper toweling, napkins, tissue, or brightly colored fluorescent paper. Examples of acceptable paper include books, magazines, catalogs, and even sticky notes.

* Metal cans are accepted but should be rinsed clean. The paper label on the can does not need to be removed. Foil is also permitted.

* Only plastics with a number one or number two on the bottom of the container may be recycled. Water bottles are typically recyclable.

* Paper clips and staples should be removed from paper that is being recycled. Small amounts of tape on paper are acceptable.

* Glass and Styrofoam may not be recycled.

Items from home may be recycled at the transfer station near the Charter Communications office in Houghton. From May through October, materials are accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Thursday. During the winter, the schedule is Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Michigan Tech currently recycles about 15 percent of its waste. Some schools recycle half of their waste, so there is the potential at Michigan Tech to recycle a lot more.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for improving the recycling effort, contact Schultz at 487-2904 or .

If you would like to have one of the small recycle bins for your office, they cost $6. Contact Bill Mitchell at .

Former ROTC Commandant and Social Sciences Instructor Passes

Richard M. Rupley, of Chassell, who taught military history and American history in the social sciences department for 13 years, died Monday.

Rupley was commandant of the Air Force ROTC Detachment at Michigan Tech from 1978 to 1982, when he retired after serving in the air force for 23 years.

He went on to earn a master's degree in history from Northern Michigan University in 1988 and returned to campus and taught in social sciences from 1990 through 2003.

He also had a bachelor's degree in real estate and land economics from Indiana University and a master's in business administration from the University of Missouri.

Chair Pat Martin, social sciences, described Rupley as "a kind gentleman with a passion for history." Martin added, "He regularly taught military history, and he embraced regional history with equal fervor."

Martin said Rupley researched and wrote on local history and served the Houghton County Historical Society.

Archivist Erik Nordberg said Rupley was a long-time friend of the library and the archives. He was especially helpful with the library's annual book sale.

Professor Terry Reynolds, who knew Rupley for 20 years, was chair of social sciences when Rupley taught in the department. "He was outstanding," Reynolds recalled. "He had a knack for picking out historical material that grabbed student interest, and his lecture delivery was in a 'down home,' informal style that made you feel less like you were hearing a lecture and more like you were hearing a story. Many students found that approach enjoyable, and his courses were popular."

Reynolds said that Rupley, who retired as a lieutenant colonel, drew on his own military experience, particularly his service in Vietnam, when teaching military history.

Rupley also was involved with the Keweenaw Chapter of the Air Force Association, the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Tech football, the Houghton Lions Club, and Phi Kappa Theta-the international honor society in history.

The Memorial Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements, which will be announced later.

Nominations Open for Fall Finishing Fellowships

Nominations for fall Finishing Fellowships are now open. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m., Thursday, July 29.

Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:
* Must be a PhD student.

* Must expect to finish in the fall.

* Must have submitted a petition to enter full-time Research Only
Mode. No Finishing Fellowships will be awarded to students who fail to receive approval of their petition.

* No source of support for fall semester--GTA, GRA, for example.

Previous recipients of a Finishing Fellowship are not eligible.

See the application page for details on the materials needed to nominate a student.

For questions, contact Debra Charlesworth at .

TIAA-Cref Telephone Consultations

TIAA-CREF representatives will be available by telephone Tuesday, August 3, through Thursday, August 5, for individual counseling sessions to discuss personal retirement planning on a confidential basis.

Participants can schedule one-on-one counseling sessions by calling Linda Baker at 800-842-2044, extension 1412.

For more information, contact Renee Hiller, manager of Benefits, at 487-2517 or .

FIRST Robotic Students Work with Youngsters

Houghton High School students, mentored by Michigan Tech students, will present an introduction to engineering and robotics for area youngsters.

The high school students are members of Superior Roboworks, which is a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) Robotics Competition team. They will present "Ready for Robots and a Whole Lot More," from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 10, at the Portage Lake District Library.

The student team will share a story about engineers and robots, explain how kids can get involved with a robotics team, and spend most of the afternoon doing hands-on activities.

The youngsters will first learn how to draw and label their inventions on graph paper and discuss how their inventions could further technology, help others, protect the environment, and more. Participants will also build bridges out of simple items that can be found around the house to see who can build the strongest structure. They will also use simple kits to make electronic devices, including a radio. LEGO kits will be on hand for the youth to work together to build a robot.

Students in Michigan Tech's signature Enterprise Program routinely work with the Houghton High School team.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at 482-4570 or visit .

Eagle Harbor is Next Stop for Archives Exhibit

A traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, "People, Place and Time: Michigan's Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara," will visit the Keweenaw County Historical Society in Eagle Harbor. The exhibit, which will be installed in the Society's Fishing Museum building, explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public from July 10 through August 14 during the museum's regular hours.

On Sunday, July 11, the Society will host a public reception and program at 2 p.m. in conjunction with the exhibit. Erik Nordberg, the University archivist, will provide some introductory comments about the life and photography of Nara.

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photography studio in Calumet, the heart of America's most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, Nara's lens also captured the people, place and time he experienced in the Keweenaw. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw's rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses and pastoral back roads.

Interpretive panels highlight the people, places and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming and the 1913 Michigan copper miners' strike.

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack, works from historical photographs held at the Archives. Robert and Ruth Nara will attend the reception. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection.


The Michigan Tech Fund has two vertical HON file cabinets, letter-size, four-drawer, putty color, 15 inches wide by 52 inches high.

Contact Sue Mello at 487-2310.

New Funding

Professor David Shonnard has received $646,852 from the Michigan Department of Economic Development for a multiple year project, "Michigan Tech Research Year 1: Forestry Biofuel Statewide Collaboration Center."


Alex Guth, a PhD student in geology, will be featured in an upcoming National Geographic Channel television series at 9 p.m., Sunday, July 25. Guth was interviewed in Kenya last year regarding the Rift Valley, and will appear in one of two back-to-back episodes of "Clash of the Continents."