STARKVILLE — Starkville residents can begin Monday dropping off certain recyclable materials in a designated bin outside the Sanitation Department offices.
The city’s new “Think Green” program will accept cardboard, office and mixed paper and scrap metal such as tin and aluminum cans as recyclable materials. The program will not accept plastics or glass at this time.
The drop-off site, located at 506 Dr. Douglas L. Conner Drive, will be open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. There is no fee for dropping off items, but items placed in bins should not be bagged.
“Know what you can and can’t recycle, get your things in there without being bagged and make sure you aren’t littering around the containers,” Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk said.
Sistrunk said the city will change out the bins when they are nearly full, and there will always be a bin available for residents.
Starkville entered a contract with Columbus-based Waste Pro USA for hauling recyclable materials from the drop-off site. Each haul will cost the city a minimum of $350, with an additional $250 contamination fee and a $150 “dry-run” fee, when applicable. Sistrunk anticipates two to four hauls per month.
The city eliminated its curbside recycling program in September, citing high costs and low participation.
“This is an opportunity for us to reboot and have a program that is financially sustainable and gain community interest,” Sistrunk said. “The program will evolve and grow based on community experience.”
Ward 5 Alderman Hamp Beatty, who strongly championed bringing the city “back into the recycling business,” said this program is a good first step. The city is hoping to start sending promotional materials in residents’ utility bills to spread the word and generate interest in the program.
“Starkville is growing, and we’re doing a lot of good things,” Beatty said. “Recycling is part of that. I’m committed to it, and I hope this works out. I hope people will come back to recycling and buy into it.”