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Trashy gifts coming to Natchez residents next week

JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Edy Ouando, right, uses a rake to pull recyclable materials from the front of a front end loader and onto a sorting machine at Concordia Metals on Wednesday morning, where workers separate the different types of paper and plastic.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Edy Ouando, right, uses a rake to pull recyclable materials from the front of a front end loader and onto a sorting machine at Concordia Metals on Wednesday morning, where workers separate the different types of paper and plastic.

NATCHEZ — Call it trashy Christmas in July.

Natchez residents don’t have to be on the “nice list” to receive the two gifts Waste Pro USA’s elves will begin delivering next week.

Each resident paying for trash service through Natchez Water Works will receive one green, 65-gallon trash can with wheels and a lid and a blue, 18-gallon recycling bin with handles as part of Waste Pro’s newly awarded contract for collection and recycling.

JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Leandro Tumax, right, tosses several plastic bottles down a shoot while sorting recyclable materials with others on a sorting machine at Concordia Metals on Wednesday morning.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Leandro Tumax, right, tosses several plastic bottles down a shoot while sorting recyclable materials with others on a sorting machine at Concordia Metals on Wednesday morning.

Waste Pro Division Manager Doug Atkins said the first shipment is scheduled to arrive Monday and that they would begin issuing them to residents as soon as possible.

“The only thing to make note of is that residents can’t start using their recycling bin until the first of August when we start pick up,” Atkins said. “They can use their trash container right away, but not their recycling bin.

“We just want to make sure everyone gets them first before we start the recycling program.”

The cans and bins will be stamped with logos of Waste Pro, the city and the Green Alliance, a non-profit organization that led the effort to bring curbside recycling to the city.

Once the recycling program begins in August, residents will leave their recycling bins on the curb Wednesdays for pick up service.

“That’s the only day we don’t run residential garbage pick up, so that will be just a recycling day,” Atkins said.

The recycling process will be single stream, which means residents don’t have to sort their materials into different piles or bins, Green Alliance chair Jim Smith said.

All the recyclable materials are dropped off at Concordia Metal in Vidalia and put on a conveyor belt that brings the material to eight employees who will sort the material.

Recyclable materials include plastics, such as water or soda bottles; paper and cardboard, such as magazines, newspapers and office paper; and metals, such as aluminum or soup cans.

Glass, wax coated cardboards, Styrofoam and plastic bags can’t be recycled.

“We’re trying to educate the people about what can and can’t be recycled because one thing can contaminate a whole shipment,” Smith said. “Our overall key message for the next few months is that recycling is easy and there’s really no reason people shouldn’t be recycling.”

The Green Alliance received a $30,000 grant from the Curbside Value Partnership and will receive $7,500 annually from Waste Pro to help educated the public on recycling information.

“We’ll be sending out information with the bins to explain what can go in and what can’t go in the bins,” Smith said. “We’re developing some other strategies to reach different areas that will probably include some door hangers that will have more recycling information on them.”

Knowing not to put paper material in the recycling bins when it’s raining might not be common knowledge for this area, Smith said.

“Recycling has never been done here, so unless people have lived somewhere else, they don’t know what it’s all about,” he said. “Things like knowing to wait and put your paper in the bin last is what we need to get out.”