City pushes for more residents to recycle

Published 12:08 am Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vicksburg officials hope a meeting today will attract more participants and increase the collections for the city’s pilot recycling program.

Officials are holding a third orientation meeting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Glenwood Circle Park on Glenwood Circle.

“We’re going to pass out more (recycling) bins and have more people sign up,” said Marie Thompson, city policy director. “That should mean more collections and tonnage on pickup day.”

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MIDD-West Industries, which handles and sorts the recyclables, reported city community service workers delivered 315 pounds of paper and 24 pounds of plastic bottles to MIDD-West’s center on Smokey Lane.

“We’ll shred the paper and bundle it, and bundle the plastic for sale,” MIDD-West executive director Kearney Waites said. “We already have customers for the materials.”

City officials are looking for 300 residents living between Cherry Street, Eisenhower Drive, East Avenue and Chambers Street to participate in the program, which is funded by a $25,000 Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality grant and expected to run for a year.

Two other meetings were held late last month with about 80 people signing up for the program, according to Thompson.

Program participants receive two lidded, 18-inch bins for paper and No. 1 and No. 2 plastics like milk, soft drink and soap containers.

Thompson said the recyclables are collected by the community service workers each Tuesday, which is the area’s regular garbage collection day.

She said the population totals in the program area were based on address records acquired from the city’s mapping department. According to the mapping department’s records, 376 addresses are listed in the area.

“We sent notices to the addresses and some of them came back marked ‘no such number,’” she said. “We’ll have to go and physically check these addresses to see if a structure is still there. We may find out we have less homes in the area than we need. If that is the case, we’ll have to expand the area.”

She did not say where the boundaries will be extended.

MIDD-West is a non-profit organization that provides employment for the handicapped. It maintains five recycling locations around Vicksburg for paper and No. 1 and No. 2 plastics. It also handles recyclables from the city’s in-house recycling program for city buildings and from a recycling program conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center.