Topic recycles itself

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NATCHEZ — Recycling was again on the table for the Adams County Board of Supervisors Monday after a resident and a private business owner proposed a partnership with the city and county for curbside recycling.

Jim Smith appeared before the board to discuss a Miss-Lou recycling program. Smith, who is the husband of Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith, said he was disappointed to learn that Natchez and Adams County did not have a curbside recycling program when he moved back here five years ago.

Smith said a new recycling program could begin with drop-off locations and then expand to include a curbside pickup service.

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Smith introduced Travis Brown of Concordia Metal Inc., who is opening a drop-off recycling center at 801 U.S. 61 North.

The supervisors previously discussed partnering with the city on its next waste collection contract and including a curbside recycling service in the contract. Smith said a prerequisite for that would be having a facility that would handle the recyclables collected through the program.

Smith said Brown’s drop-off location will accept cardboard, paper and metal. Concordia Metal Inc., Smith said, also has plans to purchase property in the county and open another recycling facility in the next few years.

Brown said after the meeting Concordia Metal is temporarily renting the U.S. 61 location until the company can open a facility in Adams County. The drop-off location, Brown said, will coordinate with the drop-off locations the supervisors are preparing to set up at sanitation convenience stations on the north and south ends of the county.

Brown said he is currently working on getting the drop-off center up and running. He said the biggest problem is getting a permit for the state to get power to run the balers.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell asked Brown when the drop-off center could begin accepting plastics, and Brown said the facility should be able to accept plastics within the next six months.

Grennell said he believed there would need to be a good bit of recycling educational materials given to the public.

Brown agreed that would be one of the most important aspects of the program.

“A lot of it is going to have to be educating people of what can go in there and what is garbage,” he said.

Brown said the curbside recycling program would have to start with the waste company picking up the recyclables and bringing them to the drop-off center. The facility would handle sorting the items.

Smith said another step in the program would be setting up a non-profit organization to raise money to educate residents and market the program. A non-profit that can be used for the program, Smith said, is the Green Alliance, which is under the Community Alliance.

Smith said the City of Tupelo has a curbside recycling program that was instituted in 2008 that would be a good example for Natchez and Adams County to follow.

Smith and Grennell noted that grants are available through the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality for recycling education materials. Grennell said the county would be happy to serve as the applicant for such grants.