City combats contamination
Brookhaven officials are making efforts to move along the city’s recycling program despite losing its initial recycling agent, Concordia Metals, due to contaminated recycling loads.
Sumrall Recycling will now handle the city’s recycling. However, officials decided in the City Board Meeting on Feb. 3, to shut down drop off recycling for the city. The shutdown will take effect on March 1. Curbside recycling pickup for city residents’ will continue.
Jim Smith, recycling coordinator for Concordia Metals said besides the contamination from non-recyclable materials in the city’s load, more contamination came from the city leaving the load exposed to the weather as it waited to be taken to Vidalia, Louisiana. Smith said the city’s recycling is stored in an open trailer and when rain gets in, the load is unusable because it’s wet.
Alderman David Phillips said the city takes a load of recycling to the recycling company every three to four weeks. When recycling is collected from the drop off bins and curbside pick-up, it is placed in a trailer at the transfer station once a week. While that trailer waits to transport the recyclables to the recycling company the uncovered trailer is open to the weather causing contamination when it rains.
Phillips said the city’s contact in Natchez regarding the regional recycling grant, James Johnston, is applying to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which issued the grant, to allocate a part of the grant money towards building a roof system as a long-term solution to the weather contamination. As a temporary fix, a tarp is being placed over the trailer to block the recyclables from the weather.
Phillips said he predicts the roofing system to cost between $12,000 and $15,000, and he feels like it can happen in the next six to eight weeks. He said that as soon as a roofing system is figured out for the transfer station “we’ll have good high quality recycling.”