New Harrison Co. recycling program surpasses expectations
By Joyce Philippe| November 8, 2017 at 9:22 PM CST - Updated August 16 at 2:04 AM
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)
Harrison County residents are practicing better recycling after reports show a 70% increase in recycle volume per home in October 2017.
Data from the Harrison County Utility Authority (HCUA) shows an uptick in recycling activity in the first month of a new service contract with Team Waste.
"As an organization, we have been working to improve both recycling rates as well as recycle participation. The decision to add larger recycling carts that were more user-friendly, along with increased community education about the many items that can be recycled, has clearly resonated with many Harrison County households," said Donald Scharr, HCUA Executive Director.
For the month of October, HCUA collected 231.4 tons of recycle material from its solid waste member agencies, which includes the cities of Biloxi, D'Iberville, Long Beach, Pass Christian and unincorporated areas of Harrison County. About 10.6 pounds per home were recycled compared to 6.24 pounds per household in October 2016.
"While we think this is an excellent start to increasing recycling rates in Harrison County, this is only the first month. We are committed to a long term effort that will involve additional community outreach and education efforts, including work in our area schools," said Scharr.
The increase took place despite Hurricane Nate's landfall in early October. Delays in cart production and delivery due to Hurricane Harvey also meant not all HCUA customers had recycle carts for the full month of October.
In upcoming months, HCUA will be sharing additional data generated from the new RFID-chipped carts. The chips will provide information on recycling rates by city and service area to assist in developing educational and outreach programs.
Under the new contract, there are no additional costs to HCUA and its member agencies for the handling of these materials. According to HCUA, member agencies are billed directly for garbage and trash disposal costs, thus increased recycling volumes lowers the garbage disposal costs.
For more information about what items can be recycled, visit the HCUA website at www.hcua-ms.us. Second recycling carts are available to be ordered by calling (228) 701-9086 or visiting www.teamwasteusa.com.