City hires recycling program manager
By Rebekah M. Yearout
Clarksdale and Coahoma County have hired a manager to oversee the new recycling program.
Marc Taylor, a Portland, Oregon native who has been in the Delta for about seven years, is running the recycling program for the city and county, and one of her first tasks was to find a location for the recycling bins. Originally, they were going to be placed in three spots—the fire station on Lee Drive, the fire station on Sasse Street and, for the county communities, recycling bins at the County Shop on Highway 61.
However, Taylor said they have decided to go with a more centralized, single location that, she hopes, won’t require a lot of oversight.
“The city owns a dead-end (street) on the southwest corner right by Walmart. There will be three different bins, and what we’re going to do with one of them, we’re going to split one between aluminum and steel on one side, and the other side will be plastic number ones, like your drinking bottles and your soda bottles,” Taylor said. “As long as the bottle has a number ‘1’ on the bottle, you’re good.
“So we’re going to have that bin, and then we’ll have cardboard, and then we will have mixed paper, which is like magazine, wrapping paper, junk mail, and even 12-pack boxes from your sodas or beers,” she said.
Items that can’t be recycled include any kind of plastic labeled “number two,” which includes bottles of laundry detergent or any kind of thick, tough plastic. No bound books will be accepted in the paper area.
Also, the design of the bins has changed. Taylor said they will be sectioning off the insides of the bins to create the different areas for steel, paper and plastic.
“Just due to the convenience and cost, at first we were going to do one bin in each area, but the bins come one way, so we’ll partition it off,” she said.
She added that she is still seeking an outsource recycler to provide pickup. Also, she added that there is the potential to make money off recycling—in many states, a recycled bottle can bring the recycler at least 5 cents, and sometimes 10 cents.
“So there’s room to grow with this grant, and it could go far; we just don’t know yet until we can gauge how interested the community is,” she said. “We’re hoping to get something from our recyclables, at this point, we don’t know how much or what it will be.”
Although grant-writing and implementing a countywide program can be difficult, the grant money is already there (the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, or MDEQ, awarded Clarksdale and Coahoma County nearly $48,000 to implement this program), and Taylor said she’s happy to be working directly with people.
“My background is corporate, but I’ve been in the South for seven years, and I’ve worked at the Rock ‘n’ Blues Museum, and I ran a bed and breakfast for a while. The fun part is public contact, and I’m looking forward to help educate on recycling and make Clarksdale a better place,” said Taylor, who happened upon this job entirely by accident.
She said she was trying to pick up garbage along the side of the road and was so bothered by the problem of littering, she emailed Mayor Bill Luckett about the area in which she was cleaning.
“Within 10 minutes he called me back and came out there with (county administrator) Daniel Vassel, and they handed me a stick to pick up garbage,” Taylor said. “He’s been behind this 100 percent, and he deserves his props for that.”
Taylor also said she wanted to thank city attorney Curtis Boschert and city clerk Cathy Clark for helping her get the program rolling as quickly as it has. She added the bins will be available to drop off recycling 24/7, and she said she hopes to have some on hand at the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival next month.
“At least that way, people can recycle their water bottles and soda bottles,” Taylor said. “The main thing is, no matter what, we just don’t want people dumping.”
If the bins aren’t available by Sunflower, Taylor said they would be by mid-August.
“I plan to go talk to all the civic groups and organizations and schools, and I will also trying to gather volunteers. We’re going to do a community cleanup every quarter in different areas, anywhere that’s in the county or Clarksdale,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she’s keeping high her hopes for a cleaner Clarksdale.
“In the future, we’re hoping with our next grant, to have more bins with more accessibility and put them in more places in the county. Long term—and I don’t know how long this is, it depends
on our growth—if we can get people to participate, then at some point, we could be doing our own recycling. Maybe we could do curbside pickup, but that’s way down the line. We just are happy we are recycling,” she said.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the recycling program and/or the regularly community cleanup is asked to email Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebekah M. Yearout is the news editor for the Press Register and can be reached at 662-627-2201, at email@example.com or by visiting facebook.com/clarksdale.register.
Coahoma County Roads
The Coahoma County Road Department Manager would like to remind the citizens of Coahoma County that it is illegal to dig and or alter any county road drainage ditches without the approval of the Coahoma County Road Manager.
It is illegal to remove, cover or destroy a road culvert; this is considered destruction of county property. These decisions are at the sole discretion of the Coahoma County Road Manager.
Before any ditch work on or connecting to county right-of-way is to be done it must be approved by the Coahoma County Road Manager and/or the Board of Supervisors.
All violators will be charged to the full extent of the law and will be liable for any damages that accrue to the road bed and or road surface and all cost of repairs.
ON SALE NOW!
Coahoma County Plat Books & Wall Maps
New 2013 Edition
Featuring Aerial Maps
Coahoma County Soil & Water Conservation District
2655 North State Street