One garbage hauler would be the wise choice

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

Warren County and Vicksburg officials have not always seen eye-to-eye, but that might be changing, at least in the prism of garbage collection.

The city and county are mulling a plan that would combine garbage-hauling contracts under one carrier. The move would streamline collection throughout the county, give elected officials further bargaining power with the hauler because of the increased number of pickups and, officials said, lower rates for customers who live in Warren County outside of Vicksburg.

Through June, the city is under a 10-year contract with Waste Management. Some Warren County residents outside the city also use Waste Management. Others use one of five independent, family-run haulers. All use Waste Management’s transfer station on U.S. 61.

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Undoubtedly, the city and county could be in a win-win situation on garbage disposal.

Consider that, in addition to the streamlining, increased bargaining chip and lower rates for some, today’s officials might have the power to turn the corner into the future with hopes of a cleaner environment. The recycling chip easily could be at the fore of the bargaining table.

With Earth Day commemorations set for Friday, awareness for recycling, conservation and sustainability will be in the national dialogue, and that same discussion could come to Vicksburg and Warren County.

It would follow by less than a month a city bid for a recycling program that would result in a $25,000 grant, a compartmentalized recycling trailer and 400 recycling bins for residents. The recycling in this case would be used for paper and plastic containers. If the funds are granted, the city would then partner with MIDD-West, a local nonprofit organization, to sort through the recyclables.

It also would follow by less than a month a grant awarded to the City of Vicksburg for recycling at city offices.

It could be expanded. It could happen at private businesses; it could happen at homes; it could happen across Warren County.

Many states and locales embraced recycling decades ago, but here it remains voluntary. That should change. In picking a waste hauler, city and county officials should demand a recycling effort.

Vicksburg and Warren County must not trash this idea.