HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg has 1,600 participants in its curbside recycling program since the city's takeover of the service in January 2015.
"We would definitely like to get those numbers up," said Public Works Department employee Marie Harris.
In January the city implemented a $3 per month charge for each household participating in curbside recycling. Given the fee and the only two months that have passed since the implementation, Harris said she is pleased with participation.
"We would like to have five and ten thousand people to sign up," she said of the program's future goals.
When the city took the program from private company Waste Pro, a sustainability committee was created to steer the progress of future sustainability efforts in the city. Nkrumah Frazier was named sustainability officer, and he said a sustainable lifestyle is much more than just recycling.
After the recycling program is running like he wants, Frazier said he wants to focus on getting community gardens in place and switch city buildings over to more energy efficient practices.
"Even before I got started, the city was already along this path," he said.
Frazier and the sustainability committee are also working to get sustainability programs in Hattiesburg's schools in order to start the practice of a sustainable lifestyle at an early age.
Curbside participants will receive a 64-gallon cart, similar to city garbage cans, for recyclables in mid to late April, according to Frazier. These carts were one of several goals the sustainability committee had when the city took charge of the program.
To subscribe to curbside recycling in Hattiesburg, visit this site or apply in-person at the City of Hattiesburg Water Billing Department, located at 900 James Street.
Curbside recycling participation by ward:
- Ward 1: 150
- Ward 2: 150
- Ward 3: 750
- Ward 4: 640
- Ward 5: 150