Thousands help out in MS Coastal Cleanup

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Turnout for the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup was so much higher than expected, organizers say they had to make extra supply runs. Thousands of people pitched in to make our community cleaner.

Volunteers picked up trash from dozens of sites in Harrison, Jackson and Hancock counties. However, this year, less of that trash will be headed to landfills.

As volunteers walked along picking up trash and debris at Biloxi's Hiller Park They had to decide in which bag each piece of the litter belonged.

"They're asking us to put the recyclables in a separate bag," CJ Boaldin said. "The recyclables in the white bag."

Organizers say this year they decided to give recycling a try, but they decided to limit recycling to only a few sites until they could see how well the program would work.

Tammy Sherer was a zone captain for one of the sites.

"We are piloting a recycling program," Sherer said. "We are actually collecting the plastics and aluminum out of those trash products so that we can take those to another site to be able to recycle them appropriately."

The Department of Marine Resources said tires are also being recycled this year. Officials hope the change will set a good example for the community.

"A big part of the clean up is education and prevention," DMR Spokesperson Lauren Thompson said. "By encouraging and having people hands-on do recycling, they'll see how straight forward that is to do. We encourage more people to recycle. Not as much will end up in a landfill."

Volunteers said they are eager to do their part to make South Mississippi a beautiful, clean place to live.

"So it's nice to see that there are people in the community who are willing to come out and spend a couple hours of their day to help beautify our community, where we live and where we play," Sherer said.

Organizers said more than 3,658 volunteers picked up more than 3,061 bags of trash along 137 miles. Volunteers also collected 167 tires which will be recycled.

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