City of Starkville, MSU evaluating cooperative recycling plan

Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and the City of Starkville are evaluating a possible cooperative recycling program. The city recently suspended its recycling program after incurring increased contractor costs for recycling services.

Saunders Ramsey, MSU’s executive director of Campus Services, said Starkville officials reached out to the university about a potential recycling partnership through Waste Pro. Ramsey said the university has a long history of effective collaboration with the city, but a recycling partnership would require some structure to make the proposal financially feasible.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill told the MSU student newspaper, The Reflector, in August: “At this point in time, we have gone from drop-off recycling to curbside recycling to drop-off recycling again due to the pandemic, and we are now going to suspend traditional recycling in its entirety. It has gotten to the point now where there is very little to no market for recyclables. Those who have taken our recyclables have cut back dramatically on the types of things they will accept. So, it now costs us about $40,000 a year to recycle, with no understanding of whether the items are actually getting recycled.”

“The building blocks of a successful partnership from MSU's perspective would be location, control of the site, cost, and education,” said Ramsey.

First, Ramsey said the city would need additional recycling bins. The city is proposing to locate the bins at the city’s Water Department site. Second, the proposal would require the city to monitor the bins daily, secure the bin location, and consistently remove any trash or other contaminants left at the bin site.

Waste Pro at a maximum would service the bins three times per week. Discussions regarding the proposal continue between city and university officials.

Spruill said: “We look forward to exploring collaborative recycling options with MSU. We share so many other facets of our various operations in a productive and positive way I feel certain that we can add this to that ongoing success story.”

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 1:38 pm