A free glass recycling event sponsored by Keep Starkville Beautiful and hosted by Mississippi State University’s Office of Sustainability, will be held from 2 to 6 p.m., or until the truck collecting the glass is full, Nov. 28 at the MSU RecPlex tennis court parking lot.
Clean, lid-free glass bottles and jars of all types are acceptable and will be loaded into the truck by volunteers who will receive prizes. Common household glasses include pasta sauce, pickle and jam jars, as well as coffee, soda and alcohol bottles. Specialty glass items including glass light bulbs, glass jugs or decorative glass will not be accepted.
Keep Starkville Beautiful, a volunteer-ran, nonprofit and sub-branch of Keep America Beautiful, has organized this recycling event for nine months.
The free glass recycling event will ultimately serve the mission of both sponsors, Keep Starkville Beautiful and the event host MSU’s Office of Sustainability, by spreading awareness for the need to improve and beautify the community of Starkville, as well as educate citizens on littering and recycling.
Christine Lashley, the director of MSU’s Office of Sustainability, said collaborative sustainability events not only provide unique opportunities to the community they service, but also work to form a unified image on the local sustainability efforts.
"Sustainability can sometimes get very specific, so it is good to have different groups working on different things–energy, food waste, recycling, litter," Lashley said. "With different interests all working together, we can promote the mission of sustainability in general."
The glass recycling will be collected by Door 2 Door Recycling of Jackson, since glass recycling of any capacity, curbside or drop-off, is currently not available in Starkville.
However, Keep Starkville Beautiful coordinator Amy Counterman said she hopes this event will help gauge whether glass recycling is a resource needed in the Starkville and MSU community.
"We hope that it will catch on, and so people will want to recycle," Counterman said. "This is an effort to try and recycle glass in Starkville."
After being taken by Door 2 Door Recycling, the glass will receive a secondary cleaning, be tumbled and, finally, crushed to create glass mulch, an environmentally sustainable option similar to pebbles of gravel.
Lashley said she believes there will be a visual impact on the event's participants and on-lookers as the truck is loaded with glass that will have a second life, rather than ending up in a land fill.
"Having a visual for things like waste is always very helpful. Whenever we throw something away, we forget about it and let someone else take care of it," Lashley said. "We don’t think about how everyone’s actions add up."
Taylor Saucier, president of MSU’s Students for a Sustainable Campus, said this event is unique because it targets both MSU students’ and Starkville residents’ needs. Saucier also said these events take the first step in making a long-term, foreseeable impact: open dialogue on the topic.
"We hope to educate students on the many different ways of recycling in the community," Saucier said. "This is a good way to start that conversation."
As the glass recycling event gets closer, both Lashley and Counterman encourage members of the Starkville and MSU community to save their recyclable glass trash.
All students are encouraged to volunteer, even if they cannot stay for the whole event. To sign up to volunteer for the event, visit MSU’s Office of Sustainability’s OrgSync page.