Jackson Co. Board Proclaims Nov. 15th as America Recycles Day
By making this proclamation, the County pledges to continue to expand and promote recycling opportunities by reaching out to and encouraging cities, schools, businesses, other organizations, and individuals to join them. These efforts have already begun.
Countywide Recycling Campaign
On November 6th, community leaders participated in a tour of the Waste Pro Recycling Facility in Gulfport. The tour provided an opportunity for city and county officials to get a firsthand look at what happens to items after they are collected and to get answers to frequently asked questions they get from the public including:
•DO NOT BAG items – items need to be lose for easy of separating
•Soap and laundry detergent bottles do not need to be rinsed – just throw in bin
•Bottle tops do not have to be removed from empty drink bottles
•Plastic grocery bags are not collected, but can be dropped off at retailer
With a better understanding of the logistics of the recycling process, community leaders will now be working together to develop a Countywide Recycling Campaign. The Campaign objective will be to increase recycling rates in the County by clearly communicating what is recyclable and the benefits of recycling and reducing waste, engaging the public and schools, improving accessibility of recycling at public facilities, developing more opportunities to recycle, and more.
Boosting Curbside Recycling is a Priority
According to Solid Waste Director Ronda Powell, the Campaign’s initial emphasis will be on curbside recycling – “although curbside recycling rates in Jackson County have increased during the past year, we are still behind National levels.“
In 2013, the County took steps to increase the level of participation in curbside recycling by making it easier. Residents in the unincorporated areas were given larger rolling recycling carts with lids. In addition, with the “single-stream” collection system, residents are not required to separate their recycling – all recycling can be placed together.
The new carts appear to be making a difference, but there is a lot of potential for growth. The percentage of all household waste picked up curbside in the unincorporated areas of the County has increased from 4.1% in Aug. 2013 to 7.4% in Oct. 2014.
The average curbside recycling rate for the County as a whole is 5.6% percent with rates for individual municipalities ranging from 2.9% to 7.8%.
“We would like to see this number increase to ten percent or higher by the end of 2015, then continue to grow as partnerships are formed among the cities, schools, businesses and individuals," explains County Administrator Brian Fulton.
Reducing Waste in Landfill
One of the goals of recycling is to reduce the amount of waste entering landfills. Besides recycling, there are also several easy ways everyone can help make this happen:
•Donate items in good condition (clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.)
•Buy recycled items
•Refurbish old furniture
•Mow higher and leave the clippings
•Utilize the County’s Landfill services (see what is accepted at right)
•Take used oil to locations that accept it
•Participate in available and help in the creation of new programs
For more information about the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling and ideas for doing more, visit the following websites:
•Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov/recycle
•Department of Environmental Quality: www.deq.state.ms.us
•Jackson County Solid Waste: www.co.jackson.ms.us/departments/solid-waste/
For more information about America Recycles Day or to “Take the Pledge” to recycle more visit www.americarecyclesday.org.