• 73°

City’s recycling efforts continue

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Two trailers full of 35-gallon recycling bins await pickup from city residents at the city barn on Willard Street. Of the approximately 900 bins received by the city, around 225 have been picked up by residents.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Two trailers full of 35-gallon recycling bins await pickup from city residents at the city barn on Willard Street. Of the approximately 900 bins received by the city, around 225 have been picked up by residents.

Since the beginning of Nov. 2014, the city of Brookhaven has been giving out 35-gallon rolling recycling bins to city residents in hopes to raise the percentage of recycling for the city.

Driving down the residential streets of the city, the all-blue bins can be spotted in several yards, but Linda Moak, a resident whose volunteer efforts helped move the program along, said there are many more bins at the city barn available for pick up. She also speaks of a problem threatening the success of the program: non-recyclable material in the drop-off bins at the city barn.

“Curbside pick-up is going well but the drop-off containers continue to be contaminated,” Moak said.

Items that can be recycled are plastic bottles and jugs No. 1 and No. 2, aluminum cans, metal cans, newspapers, cardboard and mixed paper. Mixed paper includes magazines, paperback books and slick copies. Symbols marking the plastic bottles can usually be found on the bottom of the bottle.

Items that can not be recycled are glass, Styrofoam, soiled paper, chemical containers, electronic equipment, plastic garden hose, lawn chairs, garbage cans, plastic toys and plastic bags.

Moak said that a big reason for the contamination of the drop-off containers at the city barn are plastic bags in which some people put their plastic bags. Since plastic bags are not recyclable, workers at the recycling plants have to manually pull open the bags to get to the materials that are recyclable.

Other items that have been put into the drop-off bins are lampshades and gas cans. The load from the drop-off bins goes to Concordia Metal in Vidalia, Louisiana and a company in Sumrall. Moak said if someone has dumped trash, or non-recyclables, into the bin, they don’t know until it gets to either of these points.

“It’s the single most depressing thing about the program,” Moak said. “It ruins the entire load. We don’t want those drop-off contaminations to ruin the whole recycling program.”

Moak said she wants to emphasize that glass is not recyclable and to not put recyclables in plastic bags because the bags are not recyclable.

More information about what types of materials are recyclable can be found at www.brookhavenms.com/wp/city-departments/recycling-info/.

Moak said that other areas of the program are doing well so far. She said every city school has four containers, received at the beginning of this spring semester, and all the principals are excited. An update on the containers distributed around the city parks and walkways are just as optimistic.

David Phillips, Alderman for Ward 6 brought up in the last Board of Alderman meeting that containers for residential pick-up are still available at the city barn on Willard Street.

“We need to get the word out about these,” Moak said. “We’ve only given out about 225 of a total of 900.”

Moak said the city is planning on doing more work with getting information about the program to citizens with plans to orchestrate a direct mailing campaign. She encourages people to go and get their container. She said if there’s a problem with getting it to fit in a car or vehicle, call the alderman for the ward or WastePro and “we’ll try our hardest one to get them one.”