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Lack of customers forces shutdown of recycling service

COLUMBUS — Mississippi Industrial Waste is ending its curbside recycling program.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that the company has notified customers the service will end Sept. 30.

“Due to the low number of customers that make up our daily routes and their geographic distances, it simply costs more to transport these materials than we receive in revenue,” the company said in letters to customers.

The letter also said “it has become increasingly difficult to find a market for the co-mingled materials.” “Co-mingling” means waste materials are mixed together and picked up at the same time. This method requires sorting after waste collection so some items can be recycled.

“This has added to the labor we must invest into the process to have a marketable product from the materials,” the letter states.

Mississippi Industrial Waste is owned by Waste Pro USA Inc., a Florida-based company that operates through the southeastern United States and has more than 1.4 million customers.

Ron Pecora, chief marketing officer with Waste Pro USA, said the company is “disappointed to have to discontinue curbside recycling but it is simply not financially feasible.”

Pecora said roughly 600 curbside recycling customers are scattered across Columbus.

“We don’t want to ever reduce service but the cost of running $300,000 trucks and crews requires more than minimal participation,” Pecora said.

Customers who have prepaid will receive a refund for unused months, according to the company.

Mississippi Industrial Waste will maintain six locations in Lowndes County where the public can drop off recyclables.

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