University of Tennessee-Martin students who began a city-wide recycling
program will receive a community service award on national television June
8, UTM announced Friday.

Bethany Nickerson Delfunt, a senior from Paris, Tenn., will accept the
award on behalf of fellow UTM students during a one-hour ''Busch
Gardens-Sea World Summer Celebration'' program on CBS at 7 p.m., CDT, next
Wednesday.

The program will acknowledge the efforts of students throughout the United
States for their environmental projects.

Since the UT-Martin program began three years ago, 123 tons of solid waste
have been recycled, resulting in a savings of more than $2,000 a month in
solid waste disposal fees.

Delfunt said the recycling project grew from a discussion about
conservation ethics in a class taught by Dr. Jim Byford, UTM's dean of
agriculture.

''We were talking about how to solve problems,'' Delfunt said. ''Most were
global, but the issue of solid waste came up and a group of us initially
decided to do something locally.''

The UTM project is one of three finalists in the college division. There
also are three finalists each in categories K-12, grades 6-8 and grades
9-12.

First-place winners in each category will receive $12,500. Second and
third-place awards are $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. The overall winner
for creativity, innovation and positive environmental impact will receive a
grand prize of $20,000.

Finalists with UTM in the college division are Drexel University of
Philadelphia and Southern College of Technology in Marietta, Ga. Clinton
Middle School in Clinton, Tenn., is a finalist in the grades 6-8
category.

If UT-Martin wins, the money will be used to buy a glass crusher for the
Martin Recycling Center, Delfunt said. Already, Delfunt has received her
own $1,000 community service award from the Tennessee Higher Education
Commission.

Dulfunt said the money is paying her summer tuition at UT-Martin.