UM student works to improve recycling efforts on campus

Sara Wells
Oxford Stories

Recycling has become a major mission in many cities across the country. Many states have big recycling bins that can be filled with glass, aluminum, plastic and paper.

When you’re raised to recycle, it becomes a habit. Oxford residents have to request recycling bins.

University of Mississippi student Lucy Healy is part of the Associated Student Body Sustainability Board, which promotes green efforts like recycling and works with Green Grove.

Green Grove associates and volunteers go to tents on game day asking if they can put recycling bags in people’s tents so they can recycle disposables. Additionally, Green Grove picks up the bag when the game is over.

“I did Green Grove at this time last year, and I thought people would be excited,” Healy said. “Because basically, with Green Grove, you bring people recycling bags and ask them if they want to participate.

“But the whole premise of Green Grove is to make sure you tell them there is no food or full drinks. It’s an education process, because we just want empty containers, and that’s it. Then, we pick up the bags after the game.”

Healy said one woman said: “I don’t believe in that recycling mumbo jumbo so please go away.”


Photo by Sara Wells

ASB holds several events including Green Week in the spring. Last year, you could get points for going to different events. There was a tree planting and a luncheon.

England native Ian Banner spoke about his bus initiative. His project focuses on getting rid of parking lots, making parking garages and developing more roundabouts.

Banner’s goal is to make Ole Miss more of a walking campus, and he would like to replace many parking lots by fraternities. He believes the future of Ole Miss is parking garages, and a garage could offer more parking vertically without such a huge footprint on real estate.

Healy said she “really enjoyed learning about the green initiatives in Oxford and found it a really informative talk.” When she joined the sustainability board, they asked what improvements anyone could suggest.

“Honestly, they were, and still are doing really well,” she said, “but there’s always room for improvement … but they are doing a really good job.”

Healy came up with a plan to create labels/infographic signs for paper and aluminum. The Office of Sustainability was thinking of the same idea, so they collaborated to create infographics and put them above trash cans and recycling bags. The signs included photos letting people know what the bags were for.

“I think people respond to images more than text,” she said. “Showing an example of a soda can to = aluminum speaks to people more than just a sign that says ‘aluminum.'”

Now, there are even E-Waste Stations for printer cartridges and phones. “The thing we wish we could change now is that we cannot recycle glass in Oxford,” Healy said. “Currently, Memphis is the closest place to recycle glass.”

In Oxford, recycling is not provided with your garbage company like most other states. Here in Oxford, you have to ask for recycling bins. They can be dropped off at your house if requested, or you can go pick them up, but they are not provided.


Photo by Sara Wells.

The city of Oxford’s recycling program does not include glass recycling due to the lack of funds and available machinery.

“We don’t recycle glass because of the cost,” Oxford Superintendent of Sanitation Amberlyn Liles said.

Most Oxford residents recycle through the curbside recycling program or at local drop-off locations.

Recycling drop-off locations are available for residential use only. One is located at the Municipal Center on Molly Barr Road beside the police station.

A second is The Recycling Center at the City of Oxford Landfill on County Road 321. The last is on Highway 7 South next to Fire Station Number 3. Bins are available for aluminum and steel cans, mixed paper, newspapers, cardboard and plastic.

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