Push to control litter on

Published 5:39 pm Thursday, February 15, 2007

The push to keep litter in a place other than the side of the road in Picayune and Pearl River County is gaining momentum and will kick off within the next month.

While the Picayune clean up committee has not come up with an official name or filled all the available positions they do have some positions filled and ideas on hand.

Currently filled positions are the committee’s president, Nancy Griffin, and vice president, Linda Hanberry, but the committee still needs a treasurer and a secretary. Picayune council member Donald Parker said he has a person in mind for secretary and Picayune Wal-Mart manager Steve LeBlanc said he has someone in mind for the position of treasurer. By the next meeting they both will know more.

The group then tossed around a few ideas to help keep the city clean year round. Griffin suggested asking each council member to be a precinct chairman for their respective beats to head up clean up efforts in those areas.

When asked about litter enforcement Jacobsen said there have been some citations written, but could not give a number of how many off hand. Griffin said the fine for such a citation is about $305.

“One person can make a difference in their own yard, but we need the whole community to give Picayune a face lift,” Griffin said.

LeBlanc suggested getting a hazardous waste dumpster for the Great American Clean Up Mississippi event scheduled for March. If they could do it he said all the hazardous waste collected would need to be sealed and labeled.

To gear up for the Great American Clean Up Mississippi Parker suggested hosting an all day event with a band and food that would raise awareness of the clean up effort.

Another idea LeBlanc had was to start a city recycling program that, if conducted right, could be a source of income for the clean up effort. LeBlanc said Wal-Mart’s 4,000 stores company wide, for a year, made $10 million off of their recycling the plastic shrink wrap used on the pallets. He did foresee a problem with such a program however. If the dumpster units are not monitored properly then people will start to dump improper materials in the bins, such as deer carcasses. For the next meeting LeBlanc said he would check into a price on the balers that Wal-Mart uses in their recycling process.

LeBlanc also said that there is a program that recycles two liter bottles to make T-shirts. He said it takes about 10 two liter bottles, combined with cotton, to make one shirt. He said he has a shirt made from the bottles.

“It doesn’t itch you,” LeBlanc said.

Recycling would also benefit the county by saving landfill space, LeBlanc said.

Mayor Greg Mitchell suggested if they could get the recycling program on its feet then the proceeds could be used to help needy families in the community through faith based organizations. Griffin suggested the proceeds could also be used to further fund the clean up effort.

For those interested in recycling, Picayune Industries, located at 1401 Sixth Ave., accepts old newspapers, aluminum cans and Mardi Gras beads. The Picayune Animal Shelter accepts aluminum cans, which can be dropped off at the blue barrels outside of the building.

The next meeting of the committee will be held at City Hall in Building B at the Training room on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend.