Greenwood, McComb, Natchez, Oxford gain MDEQ grants

May 22, 2014

Business

recycleSpecial to the MBJ

Four community projects in the state have been awarded Regional Recycling Cooperative Grants by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The more than $1 million in grants will be used to fund regional cooperative recycling projects in Greenwood, McComb, Natchez and Oxford.

Each of the grant recipients, along with their partner communities, will use the grant funding to develop or enhance recycling systems in their
region to help achieve the state waste reduction and recycling goal of 25 percent.

“We are excited to launch this new grant program and to work with these cities and their partners to expand recycling services and recycling access in the state,” said Trudy Fisher, MDEQ executive director. “Increasing the access to recycling to more Mississippians means that more materials can be diverted from landfills and put back into manufacturing uses where the materials can be used over and over again.
“The continued use of recycled materials in manufacturing has multiple benefits such as conserving raw material resources, reducing our reliance on imports from other countries, conserving energy, reducing pollution, reducing our reliance on landfills, and gaining the economic benefit of using materials multiple times rather than simply disposing of the materials.”

Greenwood, in partnership with Leflore County and the cities of Itta Bena, Sidon, and Indianola, will receive a grant award in the amount of $399,700 to increase and expand recycling efforts in the region. The current recycling system consists of drop-off recycling locations within the city and throughout the county.  Funds will be used to provide curbside recycling in parts of Greenwood with plans to expand the service throughout the city.  Additionally, new drop-off locations will be developed in each of the partner communities.  Grant funds will also be used to acquire curbside recycling bins, drop-off recycling containers for partner communities, and vehicles and equipment to facilitate the expansion of the collection and processing of additional recyclable materials.

McComb, in partnership with Pike County and the cities of Osyka, Magnolia, and Summit, will receive a grant award in the amount of $123,916 to expand current recycling efforts in Pike County. The project involves establishing recycling drop-off stations in all of the partner communities and recycling drop-off containers for the public placed in centrally accessible locations.  In addition, a public education and outreach program will be developed to inform residents and area schools of the benefits of recycling and the importance of their participation in the program.

Natchez, along with Brookhaven and Wilkinson County, will use the grant award of $317,162 to enhance the current curbside recycling programs in the City of Natchez and the City of Brookhaven.  Additional recycling collection points will be established for the general public in Wilkinson County and at strategic locations at local college campuses, the regional airport, the port commission, the convention center, and other high visibility locations in Natchez.  Recycling collection containers placed at these locations will provide greater public access to recycling in public venues and maximize material collection.  A public education and outreach campaign will be developed to promote these expanded recycling efforts by the partner communities and to help the public understand the benefits of recycling and the importance of their participation.

Oxford, in partnership with Batesville, Panola County, Lafayette County, the University of Mississippi and Calhoun City, receives a grant award of $227,160 to enhance the curbside recycling system in the City of Oxford and to expand recycling access in each partner community.  The project includes adding recycling collection stations on the Ole Miss campus, the development of a recycling education and outreach campaign, recycling drop-off containers for partner communities, curbside recycling bins for the City of Oxford, and new equipment to transport recycling containers to the Oxford materials recovery facility.

These grant awards are the final step of the Funding Opportunity Announcement released by MDEQ last year to assist communities in achieving the state waste reduction and recycling goal of 25 percent.   MDEQ expects to make additional Regional Recycling Cooperative Grants to local governments in the future and will provide a second Funding Opportunity Announcement as these funds become available.

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