HED: Tupelo’s drive-by recycling site now open

CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories

AUTHOR: MOULDE

HED: Tupelo’s drive-by recycling site now open

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough Jr. dumped a few bags of aluminum cans and a box of old newspapers into waiting bins Thursday and declared the city’s recycling center open for business.

The drive-by drop-off facility, located behind Fire Station No. 6 on Coley Road off West Main Street, will operate six days a week.

It will accept newspapers, aluminum and steel cans, and No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, such as soft drink bottles and milk containers.

The center was established by public and private entities, including various city departments, Waste Management Inc., private recyclers and Tupelo Clean and Beautiful, a cooperative program involving public and private citizens.

Limited cost

Initially, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It will be manned through Tupelo’s prisoner work release program and will add no cost to the city, McCullough said.

“This is truly a public-private partnership,” the mayor said. “We encourage all citizens … to use this facility. It just makes good sense to protect our environment … not only for ourselves but for future generations.”

The drop-off point lies behind the fire station and is accessible through a drive on the north side of the station.

Waste Management Inc. has supplied a multiple-bin trailer for separating and storing the recyclable materials. The contents will be recycled through AAA Industries and Atlas Plastics.

“This is the city of Tupelo’s way of helping its citizens help the environment,” said Boyd Yarbrough, assistant city public works director.

Yarbrough also said the center will have compost bins available to the public at no charge.

Compost

Use of the compost bins will help the city by reducing the volume of wood wastes that must be disposed of and aid their users by providing mulch for home landscaping, he noted.

The center’s success could mean expansion of the city’s recycling effort, perhaps eventually to curbside service, officials said.

Yarbrough said sponsors hope to collect at least two trailer loads of materials a month at the Coley Road site.

“If we do that then we may be able to establish bins in another location,” he said.

Yarbrough said similar programs have been successful in Jackson and Starkville, Jacksonville, Ark., and elsewhere.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful,” said Louise Godwin, head of Tupelo Clean and Beautiful. “We just really had to zero in on getting out and creating this facility. Hopefully, we can soon have curbside service, which would really be a benefit to Tupelo.”

“This is just the first step and we think it’s going to grow and we’ll be able to make further progress in the future,” McCullough said. “I can assure you my family will be regular customers of our drop-off recycling center.”

Recycling facts

- WHERE: Fire Station No. 6, Coley Road at West Main.

- WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays.

- WHAT: Bring aluminum and steel cans; newspapers; No. 1 and 2 plastics – as indicated by triangles on containers; and compost items such as limbs and leaves.