Bill could kick start county recycling

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — Some Adams County Supervisors are hoping newly passed House Bill 1380 can breathe life into an Adams County recycling program.

Supervisor Darryl Grennell said the bill will funnel money from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonhazardous Solid Waste Corrective Action Trust Fund to help start regional cooprative recycling programs throughout the state.

And while the bill won’t go into effect until July, Grennell said he feels the funding can help a countywide recycling effort.

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“We need to be recycling in this community, and this will hopefully help more than our community,” Grennell said.

Adams County has been without a recycling center since December when the facility closed due to lack of profitability.

Mark Williams, DEQ’s Solid Waste Programs Administrator, said exactly how the program will be implemented is still not determined.

“It’s in the very early stages,” Williams said.

Williams said once operational the grant will provide approximately $325,000 a year in funding for a recycling program.

But Williams does not know how the funding will be allocated.

Early ideas call for counties to form co-ops that would then receive the funding.

Williams said once operational the co-ops would re-invest income into the group and profits could be split between the member counties.

“We think this is going to be able to help get these programs up and running,” he said.

And getting counties to work together in a co-op is done intentionally.

When the county’s recycling committee, now called the Adams County Green Alliance, first tried to start their own recycling program, they quickly learned an area the size of Adams County would not provide enough recyclables to sustain a program.

Williams said groups of counties working together should be able to generate enough recyclables to make the program work.

Alliance member Steve McNerney said he hopes the new funding will kick start a successful program in the county.

McNerney said he was especially pleased to see a program that focused on increasing the volume of recyclables to ensure the program’s viability.

“It has to be able to sustain itself,” McNerney said of the program. “If it doesn’t then the program cannot work.”

At Monday’s supervisors’ meeting, the board gave their grant writer permission to begin the process of contacting contiguous counties that could be used as partners in the program.