Recycling in Vicksburg appears out

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 28, 2002

[08/28/02]About one in five people “voted” so far, but it appears the notion of curbside recycling in Vicksburg will go on the back burner.

A survey printed on the reverse of this month’s municipal utility bills asked residents if they would be willing to pay $1.50 to $2.50 per month more to recycle.

With about 5,000 of the 10,000 bills already returned, results are 4 to 1 against recycling among the 1,101 indicating a preference.

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“The city is going to have to be responsive to the community,” Mayor Laurence Leyens said. “But, we should also be sensitive to the 24 percent who said they were in favor of recycling.”

Several wrote comments, saying it was the price that was the problem. Leyens said that means other options will be examined.

“The majority of the expense comes in when you send a truck up everyone’s street once a week,” said Paul Rogers, city strategic planner, indicating drop-off points for aluminum, glass, plastic and paper might be established so it can be taken somewhere other than landfills.

In Vicksburg today, churches, schools and other charitable causes operate limited recycling programs, and there are commercial buyers for aluminum cans.

About 1,600 more city bills went out last week and are not expected back until next week.

Household garbage inside the city limits of Vicksburg is picked up under a contract by a private company and billed with other municipal utilities. The current contract expires Oct. 31, and officials are looking at proposals for solid waste collection, rubbish collection and recycling.

For twice-a-week pickup of garbage and once-a-week rubbish collection (tree limbs, leaves and grass clippings), city residents pay $11.05 per month. That cost is expected to raise to at least $13 per month to cover higher costs of collections and new garbage containers to be distributed to city households in November.