Responsibility in Local Recycling

By: Annie Lalonde

The City of Oxford uses Rumpke as its source for disposing trash and outsourcing recycling. Recyclables can range from normal household goods to Christmas trees and leaf pickups. If you are looking for drop-off options, you should check behind Miami University Police Station or even behind Oxford’s TJ Maxx. Between the storage materials used at move-in to all the packages received by the end of a semester, it’s important that you know where your disposed items are going.

In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenlighted landfill expansion in Colerain Township of Ohio. Colerain Township is less than 30 minutes from Butler County, the county where Miami resides. Under this granted permit, Rumpke will be able to expand its landfill by 240 acres, which is estimated to provide Rumpke with 30 more years of storage. Rumpke estimates that it can go another four years before expanding; once this expansion comes, it will greatly affect the people of Colerain Township and Butler County. Common detriments of living in close proximity to a landfill include the smells for current, nearby residents and decreased property values.

To reduce Miami’s input on this new expansion, we are expected to know how we can recycle our disposed items. According to a Rumpke representative, in 2019 there was an estimated 927 tonnes recycled. Oxford’s recycling is truly useful for Rumpke, which has markets for all our recycled goods and sells 98 percent of these materials domestically.

Therefore,  it is important to encourage Oxford residents to continue their recycling habits and to stay informed on what goods are recyclable. Students living in dorms often recycle the wrong items, and students uptown in Oxford do not always know where to leave their items once recycled. This means a lot of our efforts to recycle might end up back as trash anyway. Here are some guidelines to help with common misconceptions in recycling:

Recyclable:

  • Plastic bottles, jugs, cardboard, aluminum, and steel cans
  • Boxes (break down/flatten large boxes), pizza boxes (without food residue)
  • Paper towel and toilet paper cores
  • Frozen meal boxes
  • Cereal boxes (the inner liner is trash)
  • Cartons—milk, juice, soup, broth, wine (remove plastic caps), juice boxes are acceptable, throw away the straw

Not recyclable:

  • Grocery bags, solo cups, styrofoam, and scrap metal
  • Trash bags cannot be recycled (keep your recycled items loose in the bins)
  • Napkins, paper towels or tissues
  • Paper coffee, tea or cold drink cups
  • Paper plates
  • Straws
  • Light bulbs

For further guidance on any questions students might have about what they can recycle, see here for Miami’s updated guidelines in accordance with Rumpke from May 2019.

Let’s do our part!

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.

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