City of Hattiesburg looking at alternative options for curbside recycling program

By HASKEL BURNS,

Because of transitions being made at the Sumrall facility that processes Hattiesburg’s recycling, Hub City officials are looking into two possible alternate options for the city’s curbside recycling program.

FV Recycling – the largest independently-owned recycling company in Mississippi – will soon move away from its current single-stream approach to collection, in which recyclables of all kinds are placed in a single curbside bin by consumers, at which point they are transported and processed at the facility. The company will then transition to a multi-stream system, in which consumers will be required to separate recyclables into two or more separate bins.

Ann Jones, Hattiesburg’s chief administrative officer, said the city’s first option to the transition is to work with the nearest single-stream recycling facility, which is located in Pensacola, Florida.

“We would transport those recyclables that we collect, just as we do today, to Pensacola, probably every four to six weeks,” Jones recently told Hattiesburg City Council members.

Option two would be to transition the city’s curbside recycling program to a multi-stream system, at which point FV Recycling would continue to process the materials.

“Each of these options is going to require some research as to the cost, the value and the benefit,” Jones said. “But we wanted to touch base and make sure that (council) realizes that we are still very committed to maintaining a curbside recycling program in the city of Hattiesburg.

“We are very well aware that recycling is a community value here in Hattiesburg. So we would ask that we could come back to you guys as we assess those options that we have, whether it be to transport to another recycling facility or whether we re-tool a bit to more of a sorting system.”

Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado said she recognizes that there are resources that support the spirit of recycling and being a “green” community, and asked Jones if cost reductions from a possible transition could create jobs to facilitate any additional in-house sorting that may be needed.

“Along those same lines is the research that we’re actually conducting right now,” Jones said. “So when we come back before you guys, I think we’ll be able to confirm that information. But that is absolutely a possibility.”