September 20, 2013 9:49:32 AM
Mississippi Industrial Waste, a commercial solid waste company in Columbus, will stop its curbside recycling program at the end of this month.
The company sent notice letters to local customers this week.
"Due to the low number of customers that make up our daily routes and their geographic distances, it simply costs more to transport these materials than we receive in revenue," the notices stated.
The letter also said "it has become increasingly difficult to find a market for the co-mingled materials."
"Co-mingling" means waste materials are mixed together and picked up at the same time. This method requires sorting after waste collection so some items can be recycled.
"This has added to the labor we must invest into the process to have a marketable product from the materials," the letter states.
The company's Columbus manager did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. It is unknown if any jobs will be affected.
Mississippi Industrial Waste is owned by Waste Pro USA Inc., a Florida-based company that operates through the southeastern United States and has more than 1.4 million customers.
Ron Pecora, chief marketing officer with Waste Pro USA, said on Thursday the company is "disappointed to have to discontinue curbside recycling but it is simply not financially feasible."
Pecora said roughly 600 curbside recycling customers are scattered across Columbus.
"We don't want to ever reduce service but the cost of running $300,000 trucks and crews requires more than minimal participation," Pecora said.
Curbside service officially ends Sept. 30. Customers who have prepaid will receive a refund for unused months, according to the company.
Mississippi Industrial Waste will maintain six locations in Lowndes County where the public can drop off recyclables. The locations are at Belk on Highway 45; at First United Methodist Church on Main Street; at Joe Cook School; at Sunflower on Alabama Street; at the Caledonia Fire Department; and at New Hope School.
The city of Columbus contracts with Mississippi Industrial Waste for recycling services but not curbside recycling. The city will not be affected, according to David Armstrong, chief operations officer.
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