OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - In Oxford, while many students and faculty are out this week on Thanksgiving break, some stayed behind to help sort through the trash left behind at the Ole Miss / Texas A&M game on Saturday.
They're calling it "Sorts Giving," and it's all part of a recycling program that's been around for years at Ole Miss called the "Green Grove" program. It's coordinated by the university's Office of Sustainability. Students and faculty are given the opportunity after each home game to gather at Oxford Recycling just south of town, and sort through what's left behind after all the hoopla in "The Grove" on game day. Monday, they picked out the aluminum cans, Solo Cups, and looked for specific kinds of plastics. Last year at "Sorts Giving," volunteers diverted 1400 pounds of recyclables from landfills.
Lindsey Abernathy, Associate Director for the Ole Miss Office of Sustainability, describes the respect the program gets from newcomers.
"A lot of people who come out here and sort recycling for the first time are in awe that, first of all, a lot of recycling is actually hand-sorted," she says. "So we really like to provide that opportunity to people on campus."
"I'm here today because I am part of the Green Fund, but also because I am concerned about being sustainable," says Kathy Wachter, a marketing teacher at Ole Miss. "If this is one way I can give back to the community, I think that's a good thing."
William McComb is a graduate student at the university. He motives are simply...green.
"It's important to recycle as much trash as we can so that we're not putting an additional burden on the Earth," he says.
The Green Grove program was established in 2008. Last season, nearly six and a half tons of recyclables were diverted from landfills.