JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County officials said not enough people are using curbside recycling in the unincorporated part of the county. County officials want to do something about that.
Deanna Cole Bickham recycles and is proud of it.
"Just think about the plastic that is lying around that has a life expectancy of about 100 years. People don't realize the effect it has not only on the environment, but the animals," Bickham said.
Jackson County began a curbside pickup back in 2008 in the unincorporated part of the county, but participation has been poor lately.
"Right now, out of 26,000 homes, all the waste that is picked up at the curbside only four percent of that is recycled. Four percent. That is low. The state requirement is 25 percent," said Jackson County Solid Waste Director Rhonda Powell.
To increase that number, the county is now rolling out brand new 35 gallon carts on wheels.
"We are going from the 18 gallon little tubs to the carts that are nice. The bigger the can the more we can put into that can."
The new carts are not only larger; they also have a stamp on them that tells people what is recyclable at the curb.
"This is helpful to prevent any contamination in the recyclables because we want recyclables we can use," Powell said.
Bickham is already predicting the improvements will boost the recycle rate in the county.
"I am excited about the new size, and I am excited about the rolling aspect is the second thing. For some people, to be able to roll will be so much easier," Bickham said.
Along with the new carts, the county is also focusing on preservation education to make sure this program is a success.
"We also have a lot of families that recycle in Jackson County, so we try to go into the school and inform them about recycling and things. We are hoping our participation will really go up," said Powell.
The recycle pickup for the new 35 gallon carts begins Tuesday morning. It could take up to a month to replace all the smaller carts with new ones throughout the county.