Jackson Co. Officials Get Tour of Waste Pro Facility

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with, but how well are we doing it?

Last year, only 7% of household waste picked up curbside in Jackson County was recycled, a statistic county officials find alarming. Ronda Powell, Director of Jackson County Solid Waste, says, "You’d be surprised of the individuals that go, ‘We recycle in Jackson County?’ And me thinking, ‘Well yeah, I thought everybody knew that.’ But there are individuals that are busy in their daily life and they don’t know."

Thursday, Powell organized a trip for Jackson County leaders to tour the Waste Pro facility in Gulfport to educate them on what Waste Pro does, with hopes to build a team to increase the county’s recycling rate. Powell also says, "It’s important for us as a county that we properly manage any waste that comes in the county, but burying things that we can recycle and we can reuse is like burying money."

County officials got a chance to see how the waste comes into the facility, how an assembly line manually sorts it, and how the waste is bundled to be ground down and recycled. The Waste Pro facility management is encouraging more people to recycle. Rick Chancey, Division Manager of Waste Pro, says, "Definitely helps the environment. It saves space in our landfills and it’s a renewable resource. There’s no excuse not to recycle."

Jackson County leaders encourage residents to use the provided Waste Pro containers to recycle, hoping to increase curbside recycling to 10% this year and eventually looking to catch up to the national average of 35%. November 15th is America Recycles Day. Jackson County is looking to get it approved as an official day for the county as well.

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