Hattiesburg officials investigate recycling practices

Hattiesburg officials investigate recycling practices
Hattiesburg responds to recycle program. Photo Credit WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg public works department is investigating claims that the department dumped recycled materials with the rest of the city's waste.

Public Works Director Larry Barnes said the problem has been corrected, and the department plans to move forward.

Barnes said he became aware of the situation from a concerned citizen.

"I was saddened by the information that was brought to me. I hope this doesn't deter any of our citizens from continuing the recycling program because the numbers are increasing," said Barnes.

Going forward, the department will use trackers on their vehicles to ensure that this issue doesn't happen again.

"It helps us to better manage our fleet and be more effective and efficient," said Barnes.

The trackers will be installed on 72 vehicles.

Barnes released a statement over the weekend. Part of the statement reads,

"As the Director of Hattiesburg Public Works, it was recently brought to my attention that one of my staff members was in direct violation of our recycling program rules and regulations. I was made aware that one of the drivers chose to take the collected recycling materials to the transfer station operated by Pine Belt Solid Waste instead of transporting the material to our contracted recycling facility, FV Recycling in Sumrall, MS."

Hattiesburg started this recycling program in 2015. The recyclables are gathered every week and taken to FV recycling in Sumrall.