HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More residents in Harrison County are recycling than in previous years. That’s according to a report Harrison County Utility Authority released on Monday.
While many celebrated Earth Day, the utility authority announced record-breaking recycling numbers throughout the county.
The new numbers come from a six-month progress report that compares recycling rates among its member agencies, as well as the performance of its solid waste contractors.
For the first six months of 2019 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, tonnage of recycled materials saw an 18 percent increase to 2,009 tons over the same period in fiscal year 2018. Additionally, 19 of the 30 recycle/garbage routes performed above the average participation rate of 29.7 percent.
Harrison County Utility Authority noted that Biloxi had seven of its eight routes perform above average, with a participation high of 46.6. percent. D'Iberville recorded the route with the highest single month participation rate at 49 percent, with nearly one of every two households recycling in December 2018. Long Beach and Pass Christian participation rates averaged 32.7 percent with a high of 46.5 percent during the six month period.
In an effort to see even more of an increase in recycling, Harrison County Utility Authority is issuing an Earth Day Challenge to all residents in the hopes of increasing tonnage totals by ten percent during the month of May. This would increase the number of residents recycling to over 15,000 households and a monthly total of 367 tons of recycled material diverted from area landfills.
HCUA’s solid waste vendors scored a 99.98 percent performance rate of successful service pickups from October 2018 through March 2019. Out of the 3.5 million pickups during this period, 726 complaints were received. Only eight of these issues were not resolved by the contractors during the allotted period under HCUA’s contract, and penalties were assessed and collected from the vendors.
HCUA continues to see the benefits of new technology, such as trucks equipped with cameras and carts equipped with RFID tracking chips, along with improved customer service, that has helped reduce the number of calls for service.