Local Solutions to Your Recycling Woes

By: Allison Reineck

Recycling is an easy way to reduce individual environmental impact, but it also comes with its limitations. Although dorm and residence recycling programs take a variety of different items, there are some things that are not able to be recycled and need to be taken to specific locations. Some residents in Oxford also contend with the issue of not having an accessible recycling location at their house or apartment and must seek additional locations to drop off their recycling. Although these challenges may require extra time and effort, recycling as much as you can makes a huge positive environmental impact at an individual level. 

Where to Take Unaccepted Items

Some items that can be recycled are not accepted by the recycling company. For a list of accepted items by the local recycling company, please visit the Rumpke site. Some unaccepted items by Rumpke and where they can be recycled  are:

  • Plastic bags: Plastic shopping bags can be dropped off inside the front doors of both Kroger and Walmart, as well as brought to TOPSS (Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services) at 5445 College Corner Pike, Oxford.
  • Textiles (Clothing and Bedding): Clothing that is still in good or fair condition can be donated to Goodwill in Oxford, as well as comforters and quilts! These things are also accepted by many shelters, such as the Home is the Foundation organization. Visit their website for more information. 
  • Electronics: Ohio Valley Goodwill (locations in Fairfield and West Chester) accept many electronic items. Visit their site for more information on what specific things are accepted. Also, consider selling electronics locally on sites like Facebook Marketplace. 
  • Dishware/Pots and Pans: Many of these items are accepted at Goodwill or local shelters as well. 
  • Medication bottles: These can be dropped off at two locations in Oxford, the City of Oxford Police department (11 S. Poplar Street) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Miami University (4935 Oxford Trenton Road) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • Food waste: Oxford has a food scraps collection program for composting. Food waste can be dropped off from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the City of Oxford’s Streets and Maintenance Division garage facility (945 South Main Street). More information on accepted items is available here


Composting is another solution for repurposing not only food scraps but paper products and some plastics as well! Composting is often thought of as a solution only for people with large yards and gardens, but it is very do-able in a small indoor space! Some general tips for composting indoors: 

  • There are a lot of different forms of composting available today, so find what works best for you! Different methods take different amounts of time, upkeep, and materials to keep your compost balanced. For example, there are some kits that include activator mix that works with food scraps, and you will have compost within four weeks!
  • Consider keeping animal products out of your compost to avoid any smell indoors with your mix. If you would like to compost these products, or you are still concerned about having any odor, a lot of composters come sealed with anti-odor technology. 
  • Find a way to make use of your compost! Even if you don’t have or want house plants, many people in the community will welcome your compost. Go to the local farmer’s market and ask vendors and people in your neighborhood, or even make a listing on Facebook asking if anyone is in need of compost. 

If you have any further interest in composting indoors, this video has great information. 

Public Recycling Drop-Offs

For those who don’t have access to recycling at their residence, no fear, there are several public recycling drop-off locations in town that are highly accessible. 

  • There are two large Rumpke recycling bins located right behind T.J. Maxx, just enter through the Wells Mills Drive entrance and you will not miss them!
  •  There are five large recycling dumpsters available in the southeast corner of the Ditmer Field parking lot, or south of the Miami police department building. 

At both locations there are lists of accepted items on the sides of the dumpsters.

Creating Further Community Solutions

These solutions offered locally are helping to reduce waste in Oxford to some extent, but what can be done to further encourage recycling in our community? Less than 10 percent of Rumpke commercial customers recycle in Oxford as of 2019. This was due to the choice of the business, sometimes franchise policies, and poor perceptions of recycling from experience. Many apartment complexes and rental properties in Oxford still choose not to offer recycling. If you live in a residence that does not offer recycling, consider talking to your property manager or owner about offering recycling. If you work for an Oxford business, try talking to your manager or business owner about the possibility of recycling. 

Initiatives have been created through organizations and individuals in the community which is evident when searching for Oxford recycling solutions. There are often recycling drives that happen throughout the year, held by different organizations, for either special items or to encourage recycling in general. A lot of these events in past years occurred in the spring, so if you have any interest in participating in these community events, keep an eye out for information on your Facebook and other community-based sites!

Miami University organizations also offer different recycling initiatives on-campus and for the community, such as the special item collection drive held by Eco Reps in the fall. Eco Reps frequently sends out newsletters to those who live in the residence halls, and information on events are available to all students on the Miami Hub and on their Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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