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Natchez teams for recycling grants

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez is partnering with the City of Brookhaven and possibly another local government to apply for a grant to start a regional recycling initiative.

Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston said Natchez, Brookhaven and possibly Wilkinson County will apply for funding from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s Regional Recycling Cooperative Grants Program.

The grant would help pay for educational and marketing efforts to educate residents of participating communities on recycling, as well as transportation and equipment, Johnston said.

Green Alliance Chairman Jim Smith said the grant would help pay to put recycling bins downtown in the Main and Franklin streets area and on the bluff.

A larger bin would also be put at the port where local industries could recycle. A roll-off recycling container may also be placed at the convention center.

The National Park Service has agreed to place containers at the William Johnson House and Melrose, Johnston said.

The funding for transportation would cover costs of picking up the bins and transporting the recyclables to local recycling center Concordia Metal.

Smith said it has not yet been decided how much funding will be requested on the grant application.

The total available funding is $1 million, with the maximum single award limited to $400,000, according to MDEQ.

The local governments are partnering with businesses and organizations for in-kind contributions that Johnston said total approximately $100,000.

The grant partners include The Natchez Democrat, Brookhaven newspaper The Daily Leader, the NPS, the Natchez-Adams County Port, four of the port’s industrial tenants, the Green Alliance, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the Natchez Convention Center and others.

The City of Natchez is in its third month of its citywide curbside recycling program.

Smith said he hopes placing recycling bins around town and educating the public will help garner more support for recycling.

“It keeps recycling on everybody’s mind,” he said. “And it lets visitors know that we have a recycling program and that we are a progressive town. Hopefully, it will get more and more people recycling.”