Winona’s New Recycling Program Gets Recognition

WINONA, Miss. (WCBI) – It may take a little extra time, but sorting your trash and recycling can have a huge impact on the community.

Some cities in our area that promote recycling just are not seeing the desired results.

What Winona is doing, however, is different from the typical trash pickup.

It may require residents to bring their recyclables to a site, but it’s working.

“I’ve had people for a number of years ask about ‘Why don’t we recycle?'” said Winona Mayor, Jerry Flowers.

City leaders looked into what they could do.

They applied for a grant with the state’s Department of Environmental Quality two years ago and won.

“We watched it,” said recycling committee chairman, Linda Tompkins. “We watched to see how it progressed. When the trailer arrives, we took a picture of it and put it in the Winona Times and said ‘It’s here. Let’s use it.'”

The bins were so popular that the only complaint residents had was when are you going to empty them.

“…and so I guess it did so well that we said, you know, ‘Maybe we need to see if we can apply for another grant, get another trailer,'” said Tompkins.

Sure enough, Winona got themselves another trailer.

Their success caught the attention of the recycling center in Greenwood.

“We kind of just reached out to them to see if they were interested in partnering with us, and they said yes,” said Greenwood-Leflore Recycling Coordinator, Derek Hinckley. “They are committed to recycling. They do a really great job with it.”

Greenwood is also new to recycling, only having its service since 2013.

Winona became the center’s fourth partner, all trying to up their cleanup game.

“I think it’s just great for their community and for the region at large that we’re all kind of working together to better our communities and our planet,” added Hinckley.

To go even further, Winona goes into the local elementary schools to teach the importance of recycling.

“We’re going to take this to the Kindergarteners and the Pre-K because we’re starting them young,” said Tompkins. “If the parents aren’t doing it, we’re going to work on the parents through the kids and try to get them to learn.”

“Knowing what’s recyclable and how to do it is just really key to making sure you have a long term, sustainable program,” said Hinckley.

Because of these efforts, Winona now has a new plaque for their city hall, the “Environmental Hero of the Year” Award for Mississippi.

“It’s good, sometimes, when you’re pat on the back,” said Flowers. “You know, all we’re trying to do as mayor and board of aldermen and employees of the city of Winona is trying to make it look good, look beautiful as it is, and just be a good hometown for people to come and live.”

The Greenwood-Leflore Recycling Center recorded 750,000 pounds of recyclable material for 2017, but with more efforts in their area to sort through the trash they hope to be well over a million in 2018.

Categories: Local News

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