Rebecca Zemmelman, For The Miami Student

The city of Oxford has been announced as the winner for the third consecutive year in Butler County’s “Recycle to Win” Challenge.

This competition began in 2008 and is set to measure which among the 13 townships and six cities of Butler County can recycle the greatest amount in relation to their total waste, according to the District Coordinator for Butler County Recycling, Anne Fiehrer Flaig.

This is an incentive-based competition in which the more that is recycled, the more money a township or city receives. Flaig said there are also separate awards for the highest percentage recycled and the highest increase in recycling from the year before.

The current goal of the program is to raise the countywide recycling rate from 7 percent to at least 10 percent while increasing participation and awareness of recycling. As of the 2010 competition, Butler County recycled 9.12 percent of its total waste, according to Flaig.

The District Coordinator for Butler County Recycling, Anne Fiehrer Flaig believes Butler County will reach the 10 percent mark within the next two years.

“Butler County is right within the range of where other Ohio counties are performing, but we realize there is still room for improvement,” Flaig said.

Oxford alone had a recycling rate of 17.1 percent. Following Oxford in the competition was Fairfield with 14 percent. According to Flaig, this high percentage enables Oxford to receive $22 per ton that is recycled, giving the city a total of $17,443 back into the budget this year.

However, Miami University’s on-campus living and buildings are not included in this contest. Miami has a separate recycling system, the Miami University Recycling Facility, according to the Envirnmental Specialist of Oxford Dave Treleaven.

Flaig believes if Miami was included in this competition, Oxford would have had a much greater percentage because Miami is such a large entity.

Off-campus living and apartment buildings like College Suites are still considered part of the city of Oxford. Treleaven attributes a great deal of Oxford’s recycling success to the students and faculty of Miami.

“The students have grown up with the knowledge of recycling,” Treleaven said. “Before people were just learning about what recycling was. This competition works for the people that know about it.”

However, since this competition started, there has been a decrease in total recycling. Treleaven believes this is strongly due to the current state of the economy.

Jared Sheehan is the Green Business Columnist of the Green Hawks and member of Green Oxford, which are both organizations on campus that promote going green and saving the Earth. Sheehan said Miami involves itself in its own competitions. “Recyclemania” is a contest between 400 other colleges nationally, which Miami helped found.

Another efficiency effort, “Unplugged, Untapped, Game On” is a competition among dorms at Miami for who can conserve the most energy and water, according to Sheehan.

Sheehan is incredibly proud of Oxford’s recycling success.

“It is great to hear that Oxford Township won the competition,” Sheehan said. “Oxford definitely keeps its streets very clean which I believe is strongly influenced by the education of the students.”

As a member of Green Oxford, Sheehan has been involved in projects to talk to the residents of Oxford and landlords about the needs for recycling.