Commercial recycling lands in Tupelo

TUPELO – Three years after the launch of citywide curbside recycling for households, businesses now can participate in a program of their own.
Waste Management last month began commercial curbside recycling, meeting a long-held demand of business owners who for years have had to toss reusable materials in the trash bin or carry them to an off-site collection bin.
“We actually had been receiving quite a few calls since onset of curbside recycling that the city started in 2007 from businesses wanting to do the same,” said Kevin Shackelford, Waste Management’s north Mississippi district manager.
“As we gathered more information and realized the businesses were demanding it,” he said, “we decided that was a service we wanted to offer.”
Waste Management also collects the city’s residential recycling and regular household waste through a contract with the municipality.
Shackelford declined to say how many businesses have enrolled for curbside commercial recycling or how many tons of commercial waste have been collected since the program’s debut.
As with residential curbside recycling, businesses can toss plastic, aluminum, steel cans, newspapers and cardboard into a designated bin. Waste Management collects the bin each Wednesday and takes it to Tupelo Recycling, which then sorts and sells the materials.
Commercial bins range from six to eight cubic yards in size versus the residential bins, which are 18 gallons.
And while fees for residential curbside recycling are automatically included in household utility bills, commercial rates are separate and vary depending on the volume and level of service.
“It’s obviously a cost-effective service for those companies that are interested in recycling,” said Rene Faucheux, Waste Management’s manager of government and community affairs for the Gulf Coast. “It’s not a fad anymore. It’s all about environmental stewardship.”
Harvey’s Restaurant is among the program’s first customers. Manager David Barnes goes through countless cardboard boxes a week and previously had tossed them in the trash. He said he’s glad to be able to recycle them now.
“It makes more and more sense,” Barnes said. “And I think everybody is more aware these days of trying to be green and take care of the environment as much as possible.”
Currently, the program serves commercial customers in Tupelo and those located within 10 miles of the city. It will expand as interest levels grow.
“So far we’ve had a great response from this new service,” Shackelford said. “The numbers are increasing every week.”

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

America Recycles Day
Keep Tupelo Beautiful will collect tires, e-waste, cell phones, eyeglasses and architectural salvage in the BancorpSouth Arena
east parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Televisions will be accepted for recycling for a $10 fee; computer monitors will be accepted for $1. All other e-waste is free of charge. Donations of new or gently used building supplies or tools will provide funding for students at the Learning Skills Center
and is tax deductible.
For more information, call Tupelo Environmentalist Sherrie Cochran at (662) 841-6510.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal