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Recycling program marks anniversary

October 11, 2010

For the Daily News

October marks the one-year anniversary for curbside recycling in Starkville.
A public celebration to mark this milestone is planned Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Patriot Park near Green Oaks subdivision. The celebration will be hosted by the city’s Recycling and Solid Waste Committee.
There will be burgers on the grill and plenty of free food as well as inflatables on which the children can play.
Recycling bags will be available for anyone who wants to begin recycling or who just needs another roll of bags.
First time recycling participants will need to provide ID and a utility bill to show proof of city residency in order to get bags. Expert recyclers will be on hand to answer questions about the recycling program.
The first year of curbside recycling saw 1,693 households city participating in the free program. Just under 200 tons of recyclables (199.48 tons) were collected which represented a savings to the city of $3,472 in landfill expenses.
This represents nearly 200
tons of material that has been diverted from our landfill to be reprocessed and returned to a useful form.
All city residents who have twice weekly garbage pickup can participate in curbside recycling.
Pickup has been handled by the Sanitation Department on Wednesdays.
The first and third Wednesdays are pickup days for all residents with Monday/Thursday garbage pickup and the second and fourth Wednesdays are pickup days for residents with Tuesday/Friday garbage pickup. On the occasional fifth Wednesday there is no pickup service for anyone.
In addition to residential curbside recycling, the Recycling and Solid Waste Committee has been working to expand recycling services to businesses, apartment complexes and the Cotton District where dumpsters are used for garbage.
This has been a slow process but progress has occurred and the recycling options for these places should continue to improve over time.
Dropoff sites for recyclables are also available throughout the city and the committee has worked to improve and expand these sites as well. The drop off sites are serviced by Starkville Recycling.
Starkville Recycling, a local business run by Stan Shurden, has played an integral part in the beginnings of recycling in the city.
Under a one-year contract with the city, all the recyclables picked up at curbside were delivered to Starkville Recycling, where the staff had the job of sorting the material and preparing it for transport and sale.
Because of unanticipated expense involved with sorting and the current low price for the commodities, Starkville Recycling has announced that it will not be able to continue its curbside recycling contract with the city for another year.
Starkville city officials are receiving proposals from other companies and hopes to have a new contract completed soon.
A new contract with a new company could bring changes to the existing program.
The most likely change will be the addition of glass to the list of items that can be recycled.
Residents can recycle the following materials, all of which should be clean and free of food residue: Plastics Nos. 1 through 5, newspaper, office paper including copier paper and envelopes, mixed paper including magazines, phone books, junk mail and books, metal including aluminum, steel and tin, and flattened cardboard.
Currently the following cannot be recycled in Starkville: Glass, styrofoam, shrink wrap, visqueen, and wax coated items.

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