Poplarville’s recycling program reduced to a bin at the park
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017
About two years after Poplarville began a recycling program, it has gone through numerous changes and is now minimized to being a bin along the walking track at City Park.
In May of 2014, city officials coordinated with the Rotary Club of Poplarville, Pearl River Community College and the local Boy Scout troop to bring recycling to the city through a grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, according to previous coverage.
The original containers were set up at a depot located on the corner of Dauphine Street and Martin Luther King Drive and held 40 pounds of recyclable materials that were bundled together by a solar-powered system, previous coverage states.
The original bins allowed for the collection of household plastics, like milk jugs, and paper products, previous coverage states.
However, the bins were later moved to City Park and now only recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans, Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire said.
In order to recycle paper, Wiltshire said it would cost the city more than it would earn from the recycling the materials.
“I know that we were getting more just to accept small plastics,” she said.
When the city first took on this program, the Board of Aldermen considered curbside recycling, Wiltshire said. But the added $3.50 per month was too much to ask of residents on fixed incomes, she said.
It would have pushed the monthly minimum for water, sewage and waste closer to $70 and with one fourth of the population living at the poverty level, Wiltshire said it would have been too large of an increase.
According to a recent proposal from Waste Management to the Board, there was also no way for residents to opt-in or out of the curbside recycling program, Wiltshire said.
Public Works employees empty the recycling bins at the park about once a week, she said, yet many times the bins are full of waste and other materials that have to be sorted out from the recyclable materials.
The closest place that recycles plastics is in Sumrall, she said, but PRCC trucking students, who’ve agreed to transport the materials, have to wait until they have enough material to make the trip worthwhile.