Scholars Complete another Year of Recycling at MMS

Scholars Complete another Year of Recycling at MMS

Tyler Cook

The New Century Scholars program has been known for taking on many tasks to receive community service hours and to show their commitment to their community.  But something that citizens might not know is that Macon Middle School Scholars are proving that they are the leaders of the 21st century.  The Scholars are leading the effort to recycle at MMS, and giving all profits back to the school.

Merrilee Bordeaux, volunteer at MMS and avid supporter of New Century Scholars, says that this year the Scholars collected close to 11,000 pounds of recyclable materials.  “They did much more than they did last year,” she said.

Bordeaux said that Solid Waste Recycling contacted about New Century Scholars heading the project at MMS.  A trailer was provided and cardboard and paper was stored in there until Solid Waste picked it up.  They also provided containers for teachers to put their recyclables in it.

The Scholars are paid for what they collect, but the Scholars turn around and donate the money back to the schools.  “Last year they deposited over $200 from recycling into the MMS general fund,” Bordeaux said.  While they are unsure how much will be deposited from 2013’s collection, Bordeaux expects it to be more than last year’s deposit.  The Scholars receive 10 hours of community service every 9 weeks for recycling each week.

Bordeaux said that scholars have come to her saying that their lifestyles and daily routines concerning trash and recyclables have changed because of what they have learned through recycling at MMS.

Asher Anglin and Logan Collier, rising freshmen, said that they recognize that it is important to recycle and to live a sustainable lifestyle and agreed that their knowledge of recycling has increased since participating in the program.  They also expressed their enjoyment of their recycling project.  “Recycling at MMS is something that I looked forward to every Tuesday,” Collier said.  He later said that it made him think more of the importance of recycling.  Bordeaux said that Collier was the leader of the project during the 4th 9 weeks, who received extra hours because of his leadership.

Anglin said that he has taken the knowledge that he has learned while recycling at MMS and has applied it to other aspects of his daily routine.   He was “surprised” to find out that 7th grade recycling team voted unanimously to invite him to come back and continue the program for the final 9 weeks.

Bordeaux expressed pride in Anglin and Collier as well as the MMS scholars.  “Logan and Asher are two very important members of this recycling program,” she said, “I couldn’t have done recycling without the eighth graders this year.”

Anglin and Collier both said that the New Century Scholars program gives them more opportunities than if they weren’t in the program, and the recycling program was just one of the many opportunities offered to them.

Bordeaux concluded that this opportunity was a “recognized source of community service” and looked forward to next year’s results.

The New Century Scholars Program, which began in 1995, is a collaborative educational effort among the public schools in Macon, Jackson and Swain counties and Southwestern Community College.  The New Century Scholars program targets “high potential” students at the end of the sixth grade and provides extra support to those students through their middle school and high school years.  Students are nominated based on their potential for academic success, yearly promotion and leadership ability. Upon completion of high school, each student is awarded a tuition scholarship for each of his/her two years at Southwestern Community College.

For more info, contact Pam Collins at

Tyler Cook is the summer intern at the Macon County School Administrative Offices.  He is a New Century Scholar alumni, completing the program in 2010. 

This article was published in The Franklin Press

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