Good news for the environmentally conscious: the facility that accepts recycling on Mill Street in Fondren is again accepting paper and could fully reopen by September.

Recycling Services, Inc. at 3002 North Mill Street faced an uncertain future last week after the Department of Environmental Quality temporarily closed the only drop off spot in the city. The problem? A mandatory clean up effort that must be completed before again being given the go ahead to take on the public’s plastics and aluminum. The site had become littered with debris not accepted at recycling facilities.

While the City of Jackson offers curbside recycling (today, August 12, is Fondren’s every second Monday pick up date), those that live in apartments or have excessive amounts relied on centers like Recycling Services.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, ECO Serve Recyclers, a local firm, is assisting with the cleanup effort, and company official Roger Thomas said the facility hopes to reopen by mid-September. In the meantime, residents can drop off paper and cardboard recycling, but not plastic, aluminum or glass.

Glass recycling, unfortunately, may never again be in the city’s future. Waste Management, the company that collects recycling – and garbage in the metro – provides glass pickup in other areas but not Mississippi. Nationwide, glass recycling has sparked in the last few decades, from 750,000 tons in 1980 to 3 million tons in 2011, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But recycling centers hate it. Workers are constantly being cut, and simply put, it’s not profitable. It’s just as cost effective for Waste Management to drop it at the dump.

At one time, Rainbow Co-Op in Fondren did accept recycling, but, as pick ups were missed and the alley behind their store became more and more cluttered. The member owned cooperative directed recyclers to Global Plastic Recyclers on Palmyra Street. That facility is currently under the same scrutiny as Recycling Services and is not currently accepting any new materials.

Mississippi as a whole hasn’t quite been bitten by the recycling bug. Stats show a 17% participation rate versus a 34% rate on a nationwide scale. But that’s changing. Mark Williams, an administrator for MDEQ’s recycling division, tells the Clarion Ledger that he sees interest in recycling at an all-time high, saying new residents coming from out of state expect it. In Fondren, recycling is a daily search term to

For now, take advantage of curb side pickup that runs every other week. If you don’t have bins, contact the City of Jackson’s Solid Waste Division at 601-960-1193. Rainbow Co-Op will take your paper, plastic and aluminum in small amounts (meaning a piece or two at a time) with bins inside their store. And, if you venture beyond the neighborhood, Target stores even host kiosks, giving guests an easy way to recycle cans, glass, plastic bottles, plastic bags, MP3 players, ink cartridges and cell phones right in their local store.

Update: Fondrenite Garrad Lee shares with us that he took glass to 600 Gulf Line Rd. (off Highway 80) today in Pearl. 

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