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WSSU Student Collects 5,000 Plastic Bottles to Win $30K Community Garden for Campus

Miranda Legg got her classmates involved and collected thousands of beauty product empties to win a nationwide recycling competition.
Miranda Legg

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem State University is getting a $30,000 community garden thanks to a fellow classmate who is passionate about recycling.

Miranda Legg is a senior psychology major and Spanish minor at WSSU. In April, she combined her passions to help her university win a nationwide recycling competition.

Miranda sent emails to fellow students. She also set up recycling boxes in Foundation Heights, where she lives and works as a resident assistant.

By the end of the competition, she'd collected 5,000 beauty and personal care containers, topping college competitors on 50 campuses to win Garnier's Rinse, Recycle, Repeat: College Competition.

For leading her school along the way, Miranda received a $2,000 scholarship.

She also helped win her campus a $30,000 Garnier Green Garden. The donation includes garden materials and grant money to purchase plants and soil. The garden materials, which include benches and a gazebo, are made from recycled personal care products collected through the Garnier program.

Miranda says she's been interested in recycling ever since she was small.

“I have always cared about the Earth, and I thought I was environmentally conscious, but participating in this contest has opened my eyes to the seriousness of the world’s plastic pollution problem,” she said. “It was amazing to see people come together, and the support I received to win the scholarship was incredible. But my excitement for this garden is on another level. Our school’s motto is ‘Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve.’ and the garden is a great way to serve others. I think it will be incredibly beneficial for our community.”

The West Davidson High School grad plans to pursue a doctoral program in neuropsychology or cognitive psychology.

WSSU's new garden is one of 12 Garnier Green Gardens throughout the country.

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