Harrison Co. Utility Authority making recycling easier than ever

Harrison Co. Utility Authority making recycling easier than ever
Team Waste picking up bin in BIloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Team Waste picking up bin in BIloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County Utility Authority's newest waste company, Team Waste, begins service Oct. 1 to Biloxi, D'Iberville, Pass Christian, Long Beach, and the unincorporated areas of Harrison County.

With the new company comes new bins and a new push to make recycling easier than ever before for customers.

On Oct. 1, you can begin using your new garbage bins and recycling bins from Team Waste. You may notice more than just a color change. The recycling bins now have wheels, are larger, and come with a lid to keep all recyclables from falling out.

"People will participate more if it's easier, and having a cart that you can just wheel out to the curb with your garbage is a lot easier than managing the bins," said Team Waste President Andrew Densing.

The Harrison County Utility Authority hasn't seen much participation in recycling, so in its new contract with Team Waste, the authority decided it would be an area of emphasis.

"The problems that we have seen are that the existing bins are difficult for people to deal with," said HCUA Executive Director Donald Scharr.

Scharr said another issue is education. He said many people aren't familiar with what can and cannot be recycled. Therefore, education will be a regular occurrence to let people know how recycling works.

All the new recycling bins will have a chip called an RFID. It will include the customer's address. As a truck picks up the bin and dumps it, a reader reads the bin.

All the information is collected by Team Waste, and it can begin tracking the level of participation on recycling. That information is required to be passed on to the HCUA. The authority will be able to target areas where participation is low so education on recycling can take place.

If you've never recycled before, here's what you need to know: Only certain items go in the bin. The lids of all the recycling bins will include a list of items you can and cannot recycle.

"Newspaper, your tin cans, your number 3 through 7 plastics, drink bottles, cardboard, newspaper, white paper. We asked that you rinse anything that has residual food or liquid in it," said Densing.

In addition, recycling saves landfill space and money.

"Garbage costs us $15 a ton to dispose. Trash, limbs, and things of that nature, $9.44 a ton. Recyclables cost us $0 a ton. Last year, we spent about $1.3 million for disposal costs. If we could have gotten 20 percent of that recycled, we could have saved $250,000," said Scharr.

One thing to remember is don't bag up your recyclables. The Harrison County Utility Authority will hold a public meeting Thursday at the Donal Synder Community Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The meeting will answer questions regarding the changes to solid waste services.

Remember, with this new contract, service has been reduced to just once a week. On the upside, recycling and garbage pickup will be on the same days.

The HCUA now has a Facebook page: Harrison County Utility Authority and updated website.

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