Save the Date: 2019 Recycling Conference

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition’s 2019 Fall Recycling Conference is scheduled for October 29-30 at the Oxford Conference Center (102 Ed Perry Blvd.) in Oxford, Mississippi. Registration information will be available in the coming weeks, but put these dates on your calendar now so you won’t miss out on this important recycling conference!

We’re excited we are heading to Oxford, one of the state’s most historic and beautiful communities and frequently recognized for being the home of William Faulkner and for the City’s exceptional dining experiences, beautiful green spaces and long standing commitment to growing recycling.

Download the Save the Date.



Mississippi Recycling Coalition Announces 2018-2019 Mississippi School Grant Award Recipients

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) is pleased to announce the award of nine Mississippi School Recycling Grants for 2018-2019 School Year to schools in Starkville, Canton, Oxford, Natchez, New Albany, Ecru, Hattiesburg and Tishomingo, Mississippi.

These grants are offered to all public and private schools teaching grade K-12 students in the State of Mississippi.  The awards include a $500 or $1,000 cash award and a complimentary 1-year membership to the Coalition for each school.  A panel of MRC members evaluated each school grant application received based on the reuse, recycling and composting components of the program; the amount of student leadership and student participation in the recycling program; the emphasis on educating students on the benefits of recycling; and the community involvement, participation, and outreach components of the program.  Other components considered included the creativity, technical design, sustainability, and maximization of resources within the program.

MRC is pleased to announce school recycling grant awards this year to nine deserving schools in the State.  The schools receiving grant awards from MRC are as follows:

  • Armstrong Middle School in Starkville, MS is awarded a grant to expand the current recycling program at the school. The school will be working with Keep Starkville Beautiful and the Seventh Grade Carnation Patrol from Girl Scout Troop 20320 to organize the collection system at the school and increase outreach and education efforts.   The school plans to use the grant funds to purchase additional recycling bins and liner bags to be used in high traffic areas.  Armstrong and partners plan to continue and increase the collection of cardboard and paper and will begin collecting plastic and aluminum beverage containers.
  • Canton High School in Canton, MS is awarded a grant to help support their recently launched school recycling program. Canton High will be working with Keep Canton Beautiful to further promote the program among students, faculty and staff and track program progress. The grant funds will be used to purchase recycling bins which will be distributed to key locations throughout the school. The school will use the remaining funds on additional activities and incentives designed to increase interest and encourage student and staff participation in the recycling program.  The school will continue to collect aluminum, plastics, and paper and paper goods.
  • Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School in Starkville, MS is awarded a grant to expand the current recycling program at the school. The school will be working with Keep Starkville Beautiful and the Third Grade Unicorn Patrol from Girl Scout Troop 20320 to improve the recycling program by increasing collection efforts and providing education and incentives to students, faculty and staff to encourage involvement in the program.  The school plans to use the grant funds to purchase additional recycling bins and liner bags to be used in high traffic areas.  Henderson Ward Stewart School and partners plan to continue and increase the collection of cardboard and paper and will begin collecting plastic and aluminum beverage containers.
  • Lafayette Middle School in Oxford, MS is awarded a grant to enhance their current recycling program. The school’s Recycle Team and the QUEST! (gifted program) students will lead efforts to increase collection in both the classrooms and lunch areas.  The grant funds will be used to purchase recycling carts and bins to help make collection of materials easier and more efficient.  In addition, some funds will be used for additional flyers to help educate and promote the recycling program to students, faculty and staff.  The school plans to continue recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and cans.
  • Natchez Early College at Co-Lin in Natchez, MS is awarded a grant to expand the current recycling efforts on the Natchez campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. This project is led by the Sigma Iota Pi organization, a girls club consisting of high school students participating in the Natchez Early College Program.  The grant funds will be used to purchase recycling bin stations; display banners and additional supplies for handouts, flyers and signage. The goal of this project is to increase the amount of materials collected through promotion of the recycling program and education of the students, faculty and staff on which items are accepted for recycling; which items are not and when materials are picked up by the contractor.  The ladies of Sigma Iota Pi plan to continue collecting cans, paper and plastics on the Natchez campus.
  • New Albany Elementary School in New Albany, MS is awarded a grant to expand the current program. New Albany Elementary received a previous grant award from MRC to help support the “Recycle Wednesdays” program and has since formed a partnership with the City of New Albany and others to purchase additional collection equipment including a six unit recycling trailer and indoor recycling bins.  The new grant funds will be used to purchase additional bins allowing for increased collection in outside play areas and the collection of cardboard in addition to the paper and plastics currently collected for recycling. The school plans to continue its ongoing outreach and education efforts to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.
  • North Pontotoc Elementary School in Ecru, MS is awarded a grant to increase their current recycling efforts. The school’s Science Club students, reading coach teachers, Parent Teacher Organization and others will continue to lead the recycling program which at present collects aluminum cans and uses the money raised recycling these cans to help local needy families.  The grant funds will be used to purchase bins which will enable the school to collect more cans and begin collecting plastic bottles.  Some funds will also be used to buy materials such as posters and bin labels to help promote the program and provide direction on which materials are to be placed in the bins.
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hattiesburg, MS is awarded a grant to build on their existing recycling program. Sacred Heart in partnership with the City of Hattiesburg has been recycling for several years; collecting plastic, metals, paper and cardboard from both the elementary and high school campuses as well as the church.  The program has been so successful that the school has been able to reduce garbage collection from 4 times a week to twice a week.  In addition, students and faculty across all campuses develop and participate in a variety of activities such as “Dress in Recycled Clothing Day” and poster contests.  These projects are designed to educate the students on the benefits of recycling and promote the school program.  The grant funds will be used to provide additional education at the school in the form of new recycling and environmental books.  These books will be available for check out in the school libraries and teachers will be encouraged to incorporate sample lesson plans including these new titles in their classrooms. In addition, supplies will be purchased to be used in an associated recycling poster contest.
  • Tishomingo Middle School in Tishomingo, MS is awarded a grant to start a new recycling program. The school’s GEM (gifted program) students and teachers will lead efforts on collecting and organizing materials and educating students on the importance of recycling and how to properly recycle at the school.  Additional school faculty and staff will support these efforts as well as provide transportation of the collected materials for recycling.  The grant funds will be used to purchase recycling bins to be distributed throughout the school campus and supplies for posters, flyers, and other items designed to promote the program and educate students, faculty and staff.  Tishomingo Middle School will collect aluminum, steel and plastics as part of their new program.

The MRC congratulates these schools on their fine efforts to start and expand recycling on their campuses and in their communities.  We are excited to see the interest in growing recycling in our state.  The Coalition looks forward to following the progress of each of these schools during the remainder of this school year and into the next.  The MRC invites other interested schools to apply for the school recycling grants in the next school year.  Typically, applications for the Mississippi School Recycling Grants are solicited and accepted in the Fall of each school year. Interested educators and staff may follow the announcements on the MRC web site to determine the next round of grant awards at: or through one of our many social media outlets.

Applications for School Recycling Grants Due Nov. 16

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) is offering grants to schools to support new or expanding recycling programs. Both $500 and $1,000 grants are available to public and private K-12 schools in Mississippi. The deadline for submitting applications is November 16.

This grant program supports the mission of MRC, a non-profit organization that works to promote and grow recycling efforts in the state.

Download the application form.


Applications are due Friday, November 16. Mailed applications should be postmarked by that date; faxed and emailed applications should be submitted by 5 p.m. Also, please note guidelines and instructions below.

Submitting Applications

MRC accepts applications via:

  • Mail: Attn: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson, 107 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655
  • Fax: Attn: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson, 662-232-2338
  • Email: Subject Line: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson,


If you have any questions, contact Michelle Robinson at 662-232-2745 or at

Applications for College Scholarships Due Nov. 2

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC), a professional group that promotes recycling in Mississippi, and the Mississippi Beverage Association, a trade association of the non-alcoholic refreshment beverage companies in Mississippi, are pleased to announce their scholarship program for qualified college students.

Who Is Eligible?

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the MRC and Mississippi Beverage Association are offering up to ten $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate students (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who are currently enrolled in Mississippi public and private colleges and universities, residing in Mississippi, and majoring in areas related to the environmental sciences. This includes college students majoring in agricultural sciences, biochemistry, biology, biological or environmental engineering, environmental education and technology, forestry, microbiology, wildlife management, and other fields related to environmental science. Seniors graduating in fall/winter 2018 are not eligible.

Students who are active in promoting recycling, composting, and related sustainable practices are encouraged to apply regardless of major, as these activities are given additional weight when ranking applications.

Applications and transcripts must be received by Friday, November 2, 2018. A review of the applications will occur shortly thereafter, and successful applications will be notified by December 15, 2018. Scholarship awards will be mailed by January 2019 to the address provided on the application.

How to Apply?

Interested applicants must complete the online scholarship form and submit a college transcript (high school transcript for enrolled freshmen) to Transcripts are not required to be an official copy. Applications without transcripts will be considered incomplete and not eligible for a scholarship.


For more information, contact MRC’s Scholarship Committee Chair, Dr. Mary Love Tagert at or (662) 325-4617.

Resources from the Mississippi Solid Waste and Recycling Conference

The Mississippi “Magnolia” Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) hosted the Mississippi Solid Waste and Recycling Conference on May 15-17.

You can download the presentations from the conference below:

Mississippi Recycling Coalition Announces 2017 Environmental Heroes

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition recently announced the 2017 Environmental Hero Award recipients honoring outstanding recycling programs and organizations in the state. Each year, MRC seeks nominations of organizations, businesses, agencies, schools, and local governments from around the State of Mississippi that have excelled in their recycling and materials management program efforts.

The nominees are evaluated based on the success of their recycling efforts including promotion and outreach, the duration and extent of their recycling program, their overall environmental stewardship, and the manner in which recycling has improved community waste handling and environmental practices.

The MRC is pleased to recognize the 2017 recipients with our Environmental Hero Awards as “Recyclers of the Year” in the following 6 categories:

  • IMG_3650_previewThe City of Hattiesburg is the recipient of the 2017 “Local Government Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. Under a new administration, Hattiesburg has made great strides in increasing participation in the City’s recycling program. The City conducts various outreach activities and programs in area schools and as part of community events throughout the year to promote recycling and educate residents on its many benefits. In addition, the City’s Recycling Division under the Public Works Department has put several plans in place to increase recycling rates in the City including working with community and neighborhood organizations, conducting marketing of the program through various methods.


  • University of Mississippi copyThe University of Mississippi is the recipient of the 2017 “Educational Institution Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. The University of Mississippi conducts several programs and projects which encourage students, faculty, staff and visitors to reduce waste, reuse and recycle. The University has a campus-wide recycling program collecting mixed paper, cardboard, plastics #1 and #2, aluminum and steel. Recycling stations are provided in all buildings on campus and large roll-off bins are available in various locations around campus for the collection of larger amounts of materials making recycling easier and more convenient. In addition, the University collects recyclables during football season as part of their Green Grove Gameday Recycling Program with the help of student volunteers who hand out recycling bags and sort collected materials at the Oxford Recycling Center after the game. Also, the University operates an on-campus composting facility as part of the UM Composting Program. Since the program’s establishment in 2013 more than 45 tons of pre-consumer food waste collected from various campus dining locations around campus has been diverted from the landfill. The UM Composting Program is also working to complete the loop by partnering with the UM Food Bank and UM Garden Club. Expired food from the food bank is composted, the finished compost is used in the UM Garden, and produce grown in the garden is sent to the Food Bank.

In addition to the University of Mississippi, other educational institutions receiving honorable mention for their recycling efforts include Ridgeland High School of the Madison County School District and Northwest Rankin High School of the Rankin County School District.

  • PACCAR Engine Company-1 copyPACCAR Engine Company is the recipient of the 2017 “Business and Industry Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. PACCAR Engine Company in Columbus, MS has been a zero waste facility since starting production in 2010, and in 2016 was admitted to MDEQ’s EnHance Program at the Steward Level. As part of their application for EnHance, the company developed a project to reduce the amount of wood waste produced by using plastic returnable containers instead of wooden crates to transport their products. This change enabled PACCAR to reduce the amount of wood waste from over 1200 tons in 2015 to less than 700 tons in 2017, a 43% reduction. In addition, PACCAR has installed new equipment which allows for the reworking of engines in a manner that could not be done in the past. This practice has resulted in less engines being scrapped reducing the amount of scrap metal waste produced. In 2017, PACCAR reused or recycled nearly 5800 tons of materials including wood waste, plastics, scrap metal and cardboard.

In addition to PACCAR Engine Company, Carpet Designs, Inc. in Jackson, MS receives honorable mention for their recycling efforts in the State.

  • IMG_3661_previewThe Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is the recipient of the 2017 “State Agency Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has been recycling within the agency’s facilities since the early nineties, but has recently increased efforts to improve MDEQ’s recycling program to make recycling easier and more convenient for their employees and to help ensure the collection of both a higher quantity and quality of materials for recycling. These efforts include working more closely with the agency’s recycler, Allen’s Recycling, to streamline collection and reduce contamination; increasing the Recycling and Waste Reduction Branch staff; developing a new employee recycling guide; adding new bin and promotional signage at various locations within agency facilities; consolidating and increasing bins where necessary to maximize convenience; and meeting with the different divisions within the agency to present information on the recycling program and answer questions. In addition, the MDEQ continues to lead and assist other state agencies and institutions with recycling as well as promote and encourage recycling throughout the state.
  • IMG_3655_previewKeep Ridgeland Beautiful is the recipient of the 2017 “Non-Profit Organization Recycler of the Year” Award. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful (KRB) is a local affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) organization. As part of their mission, KRB works with the City, area schools and other community organizations to educate residents on the importance of recycling through various outreach and education activities and community events. These efforts include partnering with Ridgeland High School on their recycling program, adding recycling bins in area parks using grant funds, installing a bottle filler in Friendship Park using MDEQ grant funds, and participating in Ridgeland’s Kids Fest and Trunk or Treat events to engage attendees on the importance of recycling. Recently, KRB, with the help of a $5000 grant from PepsiCo created a recycling mascot for the City called the Ridgeland Recycle Ranger. Recycle Ranger, a recycling super hero of sorts, has been a positive addition to the KRB team helping to convey the message of recycling in his travels around the City and to special events including the National Keep America Beautiful meeting in Dallas. Recycle Ranger has also been featured in KRB’s 12 month PSA Billboard campaign in Ridgeland and in Ridgeland Life’s 2017 Winter Magazine. For their commitment to promote and grow recycling in their community, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful receives the 2017 Non-Profit Organization Recycler of the Year Award for the State of Mississippi.

In addition to Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, other non-profit organizations receiving honorable mention for their recycling efforts include Keep Tupelo Beautiful and Mississippi Blood Services.

  • City of Winona copyCity of Winona is the recipient of the 2017 “New Program Recycler of the Year” Award. The City of Winona started the recycling program in 2016 with one drop off location consisting of one 16 cubic yard roll-off bin purchased through MDEQ grant funding. This brightly colored bin displaying recyclables as cartoon like characters with happy faces not only serves to hold materials, but also to help promote the program. The local garden club and other community organizations also help the City promote the new program to residents by conducting presentations at the Public Library and area schools. The promotion of the City’s recycling program has been so successful that the roll-off was needing to be emptied two to three times a week or more. To keep up with the residents’ enthusiasm, the City purchased an additional bin, also brightly decorated, to place at the drop off site. Even with this new bin, the City is transporting a full bin of aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, mixed paper, #1 and #2 plastics to Greenwood/Leflore Recycling once a week. In addition to collecting a large quantity of materials, the City has been able to successfully educate residents on which items do not belong in the bin resulting in the collection of high quality, clean recyclables with very few instances of contamination. The City has plans to continue expanding the recycling program to best serve their residents.

Mississippi Legislative Awareness Day on Feb. 7

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) will be raising awareness for the importance of recycling on Wednesday, February 7, 1 to 3:30 p.m. for the annual Recycling Legislative Awareness Day. MRC and Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) are co-sponsoring the event, which includes an ice cream social for our legislators, on the first floor rotunda. Additionally, MRC plans to recognize the recent recipients of the Recyclers of the Year “Environmental Hero” awards.

MRC members are encouraged to attend this event that provides an opportunity to share information and network with our state legislators on the significant economic impacts the recycling industry brings to our state.

MRC also encourages businesses, industries, and organizations that are involved in recycling to consider having an exhibit for the event. Please note that we will do our best to honor requests for exhibit space; however, space in the rotunda is limited.  We will notify exhibitors in advance of the event if we are unable to fulfill requests for space.

RSVP to Attend

MRC asks that all MRC members planning to attend the Recycling Legislative Awareness Day please contact Jennifer Milner by e-mail to or by phone to 601-961-5739. Also, contact Ms. Milner if you would like to exhibit or have any questions regarding the event.

Webinar on Jan. 30 to Prepare for Event

We have learned from past events that the process of reaching out to your local legislators can be difficult for various reasons. Therefore, to help attendees of this year’s event, we are partnering with the Southeastern Recycling Development Council (SERDC) to conduct an instructional webinar. This webinar will include all the information you will need to engage your legislators at the Recycling Legislative Awareness Day event. The webinar will provide instruction on proper attire for the event, location and parking information, an agenda for the event as well as resources for identifying your legislators, making an appointment with them, and articulating your message to them once given the opportunity.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 30 at 10a.m. CST. You may use the following link to register for the Mississippi Recycling Legislative Awareness Day webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We encourage all of our members planning to attend the 2018 Legislative Awareness Day event to make every effort to attend the webinar on January 30. There is no cost for joining the webinar, and it is open to all who are interested including our friends with Keep Mississippi Beautiful. Therefore, please feel free to pass this information along to others in your organization or business who may be interested.