One Woman’s Passion for Recycling

Autumn Clark and Graham Doty

One person can make a difference to the planet.  Recycling in Oxford, Mississippi has grown leaps and bounds in the past 10 years, thanks in large part to Amberlyn Liles.

The Oxford Recycling Department was founded in 1999.  It had a very modest beginning, but has grown into a full scale department thanks to Liles, the recycling coordinator.  She says it has been an enjoyable experience, but in the beginning it was challenging and frustrating.

“Eight years ago it was just me and I had to learn it all.  How to operate all the equipment, forklift, because all we had was a forklift; and the bailer and then I didn’t even have a truck,” Liles said.

The recycling department has grown into seven full time employees.  Liles says everyone who recycles can feel good about it.

“And there’s a sense of reward that you feel when you go and you drop off your recycling at the drop off location or you put it out at the curb that you know that it’s going somewhere, that it’s not going to a hole in the ground,” Liles said.

According to the recycling department’s web page, recycling one aluminum can, can save enough energy to run a television for three hours.  Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water and 4,100 kilowatts of electricity.

“It’s going to make good products by saving electricity, creating jobs.  It’s just a win-win situation.”

Liles is passionate about the future of the Oxford recycling department.  She has plans to expand the products that can be recycled.

“More plastics, we’d like to take plastic items numbers three through seven. They’re also very hard to dispose of as far as moving them to other companies that can use them.  So those are things that are in the future, glass and more plastic recycling,” Liles said.

Thanks in large part to Amberlyn Liles and the recycling department for the city of Oxford the future of Oxford looks cleaner and greener.

Now it’s time to do your part.  Start recycling today.

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~ by autumnclark on November 5, 2009.

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