Vidalia recycling getting closer to reality

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

VIDALIA — Vidalia city officials said they hope that by the May meeting of the board of aldermen they could have a plan for a city recycling program in place.

Green Alliance chairman and Concordia Metal employee Jim Smith spoke before the aldermen Tuesday, telling the board that recent polling indicates that 78 percent of those polled in Vidalia would participate in a recycling program.

Smith said a recycling option is already available for drop-off at Concordia Metal, and that most of the schools in Natchez have recycling Dumpsters.

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“We would love to put (the Dumpsters) at the schools in Vidalia as well,” he said.

If Vidalia is to start a curbside recycling program, it might have to invest in curbside recycling containers, which would cost the city approximately $5,000, Smith said.

Alderman Jon Betts asked if it would be possible to instead have the city print special recycling decals that could be put on cans that homeowners provided themselves. Sanitation Director Lee Staggs said cans of a specific color would be preferred.

“We just need to make sure we have a can, a tote or something to differentiate recyclables,” he said.

“If our garbage guys look down the street and see there are no more blue containers, they know they can skip this street.”

Mayor Hyram Copeland said the city could look into the options of cans or decals.

Alderman Ricky Knapp said he believes participation in a recycling program will grow on a voluntary basis once it is started.

“Once people see these tubs on the street every Wednesday, more and more people will sign up, and we will have a successful program,” he said.

Knapp also said the town might be able to recoup the expenses of make a recycling run by savings on landfill tipping fees.

In other news:

4The aldermen authorized Copeland to sign all paperwork related to the construction phase of the city’s slackwater port project.

“We think and know that is going to be one of the major projects we have in the entire area and region, and we think it will be great economic development tool for us to recruit industries, and we are already talking to major companies interested in coming to our area,” Copeland said.

4The aldermen authorized the city’s grant writer, Teresa Dennis, to reapply for a grant for the city’s ongoing municipal park project.

4Copeland said the city has contacted the Louisiana Department of Transportation, which has agreed to do a study about the need for a traffic light at the intersection of Vernon Stevens Boulevard and Carter Street.

The intersection is the entrance to the new municipal complex and Concordia Recreation District No. 3 recreation complex.

Copeland said the LDOT is also discussing putting in a turning lane on the right-hand side of the road. The mayor said he contacted them after hearing many complaints from residents.

“I didn’t want to come back to (the LDOT) after somebody had been badly injured,” he said.

4The aldermen discussed a personnel matter involving a police officer in executive session.