Recycling has become a huge focus in society and on Miami University’s campus. Miami makes it easy to be green with recycling plans and programs, but students living off campus may find recycling a bit more difficult.
David Treleaven, environmental specialist with the Oxford Service Department, said Butler County, Oxford and Miami University are making an effort to recycle.
“Students are more aware than they used to be,” Treleaven said.
He said it is important to recycle and to do it correctly, along with making sure people are aware of where they can recycle. According to Treleaven, Miami and Oxford have completely separate recycling operations.
Recycling plans can be divided into two groups: residential and commercial. Residential recycling plans are for people living in individual houses, duplexes and structures with four or less apartments, Treleaven said. Commercial accounts are structures with five or more apartments.
“People will be more likely to recycle if they are already paying for it,” Treleaven said.
Treleaven said if a person has a residential account and is paying city utilities then that person is also required to pay for the solid waste, or regular trash, utilities and recycling is already included in the solid waste payment.
“[The cost is] $17.30 a month for recycling and solid waste,” Treleaven said. “It is included whether you decide to utilize recycling or not. [The included cost for recycling is] $2.90 a month.”
Treleaven said Rumpke is in charge of all residential and commercial accounts in Oxford. There are different types of bins that can be provided to people, either 18 or 23-gallon waste wheeler totes.
Commercial accounts are required to have some form of waste removal or trash pick-up, Treleaven said.
“They are required by the way our ordinance is written is to have larger containers, either the dumpsters or at least one of the brown 95-gallon waste wheeler totes,” Treleaven said. “To encourage commercial recycling, the cost of recycling is exactly what Rumpke charges the city.”
Robert Brinkman, leasing manager for Level 27 Apartments, said they have their own deal with Rumpke.
“We have an agreement with Rumpke where they supply a large dumpster size recycling bin,” Brinkman said. “We provide the ability [for tenants to recycle]. We encourage it, but it is not required. We do not have to pay anything [for the recycling].”
Brinkman said Level 27 Apartments worked out a special deal with Rumpke to not have to pay anything. They have a large bin in each trash bay and they are always full on trash day. Apartments that just have dumpsters, but not recycling, have reasons for doing so, according to Treleaven.
“Apartment complexes lose parking spaces because another pod has to be created for the recycling container,” Treleaven said.
Another reason some apartments tend to not focus on recycling is because if solid waste is put into recycling bins, it becomes contaminated and the recyclables are no longer of use.
According to Treleaven, Rumpke will bill the apartment complexes if their recyclables are contaminated.
Miami junior Molly Halligan said recycling is not hard for students.
“I don’t think it is that hard to recycle, but I think college kids are just too lazy and it’s easier to just have one trash bin,” Halligan said.
Oxford has community-recycling dumpsters scattered in different locations, Treleaven said. There is a location behind the Miami University Police Department by Ditmer Parking Lot administered by the Materials Recycling Facility. There are also locations administered by the company AbitibiBowater used by the U.S. Postal Service and the Talawanda School District.