Green Alliance: It is not a question of whether city will recycle, but when

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NATCHEZ — It’s not a matter of if Natchez is going to recycle, it’s a matter of when.

That was the message Green Alliance member Steve McNerney brought to the Natchez Board of Aldermen Tuesday.

“For the past three years, the Green Alliance has been working pretty hard with a variety of different groups to bring recycling to Natchez,” McNerney said.

Email newsletter signup

“It is going to be state law, so it is not really a question of are we going to recycle or not, but when are we going to recycle?”

The Green Alliance has a proposed recycling program that will include having a drop-off center in the county, McNerney said, and grant money is available to help fund the program. The way the most funds could be received for that grant would be for the city and Adams County to form an interlocal agreement, and if both entities were agreeable to the idea the Green Alliance would apply for the grant, he said.

Stephanie Hutchins, who attended the meeting with McNerney, said the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is very interested in having a recycling center in southwest Mississippi.

“Every other community (in southwest Mississippi) is going for this money right now,” Hutchins said.

“This is the time to do this, we can do it and be the beneficiaries of this money, be the beneficiary of this facility, the jobs it will bring, and then we will be the hub for all these communities that are vying for the same thing right now.”

McNerney’s proposal is more indepth and more sustainable than anything the other communities have put forward, Hutchins said.

“(McNerney) has no financial interest in this,” she said. “It is our community that will win or lose in the next few years whether we choose to do this.”

Adams County Supervisor Mike Lazarus, who was also in attendance, said a private businessman has contacted the county about using his baling equipment to recycle cardboard, and that the supervisors would like to locate cardboard drop-off sites in the Kingston and Foster Mound areas.

“Now that we have a private entity that wants to throw his money in, we are not going to stop him,” Lazarus said.

The county will soon have to develop a solid waste plan by law, McNerney said, and Natchez City Engineer David Gardner said the all of the interested parties would be meeting with the county to review the solid waste plan.

The group would actively work to educate the public as part of its mission once a plan was in place, Gardner said.