In December, the Cleveland Board of Aldermen approved the request of Brett Moorman, director of community development, to start a local recycling program.
"For awhile now we have been discussing starting a local recycling program for paper, plastic and aluminum and steel cans," said Moorman at the meeting.
Both Moorman and Scott Fuquay with Public Works said the program is now ready to begin with two drop off locations.
"Five containers will be placed on the north side of the depot (downtown) behind the clock and public works," said Fuquay.
Cleveland Public works is located on Old Miss. Highway 61 in what used to be the Color Tile building.
Fuquay said public work employees would monitor the downtown site and pick the recyclables at least twice a day.
"People can drop off items there 24/7. However they can only make drop offs at public work between 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday," said Fuquay.
Items, which may be recycled, include plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, mixed paper, plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
"Cardboard boxes will only be accepted at public works," said Fuquay, who asked that they be broken down and placed on the loading dock.
Not to be dropped off for recycling are medical waste items, Styrofoam, aluminum foil and food soiled items.
"We're also asking the public not to bring boxes with a waxy coating, like pizza boxes, but cereal boxes, paper and junk mail are perfect," said Moorman, who added, "Please rinse out cans and pour out liquids."
And though it's not a necessity, Moorman said removing the caps from plastic bottles would be helpful as they are usually a different grade of plastic.
"We're taking plastic grades no. 1 and no. 2. The grade number is in the middle of the recycle triangle usually placed on the bottom of bottles.
"John Brown of Brown Brothers Scrap Metal, Inc. in Cleveland has donated two vertical bailers for the city to use," said Moorman.
Brown will then purchase the recyclables from the city and sell them to recycling operations across the Mid-South.
Moorman said the plan is to apply for a Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality grant in the spring, which will be used to purchase larger containers and other needed items; and to partner with businesses and other entities in the city.
Both Moorman and Fuquay are urging every Clevelander to take advantage of this new program as statistics show that each American generates 1,609 lbs. of trash per year and that it takes about 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.