Brookhaven taking lead on recycling

Published 10:16pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

Other communities are looking to Brookhaven for leadership.

With a little over a year of experience in the field, our community was the place the city of Natchez went to for help with its fledgling recycling program.

Recently, James Johnston, Natchez’s community development director, met with Brookhaven aldermen to discuss a combined program between Brookhaven and Natchez to go after state grant funds to help both towns with their recycling programs.

While Natchez only implemented its recycling program three months ago, Brookhaven has been involved in curbside recycling pickup since November 2012. Our curbside program began three months after the city initiated drop-off recycle locations in August 2012.

Combining forces with Natchez – and possibly one other Southwest Mississippi community – means Brookhaven can go after Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality funds to build on the recycling program already in place.

Brookhaven hopes to net $161,000 in grant funds through the coalition, according to Ward Six Alderman David Phillips, who attended a regional recycling conference in Bay St. Louis last week.

Brookhaven officials hope to use the grant money to place recycling containers around town. Funds also could be used to purchase wheeled recycling containers for residents. Finally, and most importantly, the grant will be used to educate the community about recycling.

“Awareness is the key …,” Phillips said. “The more the community knows, the higher our participating rate will go up.”

Going from zero recycling a little over a year ago to weekly curbside pickups and regional leadership in the recycling field is a major feat for our city. This follows Brookhaven’s recognition last year with the 2012 Environmental Hero Award from the Mississippi Recycling Coalition as the Local Government Recycler of the Year.

It’s nice to see Brookhaven is becoming the go-to town for our region. Now we all can do our part by pitching in and – recycling.