A professor of biology, Dr. Patrick Doyle has undertaken recycling for the campus community with such dedication that he has become synonymous with the effort. Since 1972, Dr. Doyle has been the impetus behind forming the recycling habit for faculty and staff and ensuring the pick-up and recycling of more than 9.5 million pounds of newspaper, 1 million pounds of office paper and 185,000 pounds of aluminum cans.
Through his efforts, the 9.5 million pounds of newspapers saved 89,250 trees. Each aluminum can recycled represents enough energy to power a television for three hours and will prevent three ounces of acid rain and 40 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. Additionally, Dr. Doyle's recycling program has saved enough electricity to power 5,250 homes for six months, enough water to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools and 15, 750 cubic yards of landfill space.
Dr. Doyle is described as a modest man with a true sense of commitment to the environment and his students. His work not only benefits the environment, but it directly affects the lives of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) students. With proceeds from recycling, Dr. Doyle has invested in MTSU's students through scholarship funds. More than 300 students have completed their education with assistance from the recycling scholarships. Students are rewarded with financial assistance and learn a sense of responsibility and stewardship for their environment as they volunteer their time to the program. Working tirelessly for the community, Dr. Doyle instills his convictions in his students.
As a pioneer in the field of recycling in the area, Dr. Doyle's reputation as a founder of the program is widespread. He has assisted in organizing and managing recycling programs in Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, Florida, Kansas and Iowa. He has received requests for information from as far away as England and Nigeria.
What began 30 years ago, by encouraging individuals to bundle newspapers for pick up has flowered into many distinct accomplishments. Presently, he presides over a modest fleet of trucks, a cadre of diligent workers and receives release time to administer the campus-wide recycling program.