One of the products of the Air Force Community Partnership Program was a meeting with the city of Columbus chief of operations officer, Dave Armstrong.
Our topic of discussion was the perception that there is no recycling in Columbus and how that in turn affects the base recycling efforts. One hot line of discussion was correcting our perception of what the city is doing and how they do it.
A little back story: the city has tried curbside pick‐ up of recyclables with poor results. It failed to meet cost controls or to generate enough paper and metal to make it affordable.
City government is open to more discussion, but there has to be more public education to raise awareness of the difficulties involved. In short, it falls on the problems of cost of manpower and transportation. As a compromise, the city contracts a local company, Go Box https://getgobox.com/ to collect, sort, bail and market recyclables.
The good news is there are currently seven locations (see list) in Lowndes County to drop off cardboard, paper, wood, metal, and plastic. They even take glass. Tell your neighbors and utilize the system. The recycling industry needs enough bulk of materials to make large loads of materials. Buyers want tractor trailer loads of each item, sorted and bailed. Highly compressible plastic bottles takes thousands of customers to make a truck load.
It is in the interest of Columbus AFB to support a recycling mind set. The base achieved a 54% trash diversion rate in large part by getting customer cooperation. DOD wide the rate is slumping to 43%, so we actually are a rock star in the recycling world.
Recycling Locations in Lowndes County, with addresses for the GPS:
- Gateway Shopping Center parking lot, 221 Alabama Street, (East) Columbus, MS
- US Electrical Sales parking lot, 1600 Gardner Road, (East) Columbus, MS
- New Hope High School parking lot, 3419 New Hope Road, Columbus, MS
- Caledonia Fire Department, 13036 Hwy 12 E, Caledonia, MS
- Anytime Fitness, 3918 HWY 45 N, Columbus, MS
- Joe Cook Elementary, 2217 7th St N, Columbus MS
- Hitching Lot Farmers Market, corner of 2nd Ave & 2nd St N, Columbus MS