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 Recycling » ENACT Group of New Albany Talks with Oxford Recycling Coordinator

ENACT Group of New Albany Talks with Oxford Recycling Coordinator

ENACT Group of New Albany Talks with Oxford Recycling Coordinator
ENACT Meeting
By Angie Barmer

Recycling is a choice for many citizens in this country. It is a choice as simple as whether or not to throw an item away in the trash or throw it into a recycling bin. However, for residents in New Albany, it has not been a choice because city or county-wide recycling has not been offered to community residents.
A few months ago, members from the Engaging New Albany Citizens Today (ENACT) group and members of the New Albany Recycling Committee met separately and talked about the need for recycling in the community. The New Albany Recycling Committee and the Union County Development Association ended up applying for recycling grants through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for recycling bins to be placed throughout the city. Both groups were approved and a total of ninety 22-gallon recycling bins will soon be placed throughout the city. UCDA will receive fifty 22-gallon bins and the committee will receive forty 22-gallon bins.
The bins for UCDA are planned to be put in place at UCDA and at all of the New Albany schools. Aluminum cans will be recycled in these locations. The New Albany Recycling Committee plans to put recycling bins at the Rails to Trails Trailhead and at the New Albany Sportsplex and plan to recycle paper and plastic bottles. Walmart Supercenter offers recycling containers at the front entrances for people to recycle plastic bottles and plastic bags. 
Amberlyn Liles, recycling coordinator for the City of Oxford, came to Monday night’s ENACT meeting to discuss various ways to help New Albany move further along in its recycling efforts.
Liles began by stating the importance and significance of having support from the mayor, the city aldermen, and the county supervisors. There was no one from represented from the city or county government at the meeting.
She also talked about how important it is to educate the public about recycling, especially elementary and middle school-aged children.
She said,”It’s really not that hard – it’s a choice, you either throw it away or recycle.”
Liles told the group of 25 people that when applying for grants, more money can be received by combining city and county because the population will be bigger, which would increase the opportunity to receive a grant.
The City of Oxford offers recycling to the University of Mississippi, various business and schools, and to city and county residents. City residents can either use one or both of the drop-off locations and/or choose to participate in optional curbside recycling. County residents can only bring recycling to a drop-off location and do not have the option of curbside recycling. The bins cost $12 per household/set, but the cost of the bins is optional.
She explained that all of the materials that are brought in are sold, mostly to Midwest Fiber Recycling. She also said that when Oxford began the recycling program approximately 12 years ago, they applied for grants to purchase roll-off bins, which cost about $3,000 and trailers, which cost around $13,000 each.
Liles explained that since Oxford residents are not charged a recycling fee, the city’s recycling program goes in the red almost every year.
Audience member Logan Rutledge asked which counties are some of the most successful in the state. Liles said that Quitman and Harrison counties are the most successful in her opinion, but they have been around longer and keep their recycling program simple for the residents.
“Most of our recycling comes from drop-off location number one, which is in the Oxford Police Station’s parking lot, then the second biggest is curbside recycling, and the third biggest is recycling that comes from the university. We have 40 percent participation with curbside recycling, which is very good,” said Liles.
Oxford recycles aluminum cans, steel cans, PETE #1 plastic, HDPE #2 plastic, mixed paper, newspaper, and cardboard. They do not recycle glass or styrofoam.
She said that clients from North Mississippi Regional Medical Center come and help sort the recycled materials and do other work as needed.
Daniel Frain with the New Albany Recycling Committee said that he had came and spoke to New Albany’s Board of Aldermen last October and had brought up the idea of recycling and said that they seemed like they were for the idea.
He said that a possible plan is to set up drop-off locations throughout the city for recycling. 
Frain added, “When we get our bins, all of the city offices will have bins in them.”
Jean Ashcraft of www.speakgreenms.org said, “We have already spoken to Dr. Garrett with the New Albany School District about collecting aluminum cans at each of the schools and donating them to the New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults so they can build an addition onto their building.”
Liles said, “I think that New Albany can do it, but you need to change the way people think. It can be done, step by step. Education is important. Go out and talk to the students in the schools and talk to different clubs and organizations in town. Teach them that instead of throwing something in the trash, it could be used to make something that would end up on the store shelves.”
For more information on the City of Oxford’s recycling program, visit www.oxfordms.net.

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