Mississippi Recycling Coalition Announces 2017 Environmental Heroes

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition recently announced the 2017 Environmental Hero Award recipients honoring outstanding recycling programs and organizations in the state. Each year, MRC seeks nominations of organizations, businesses, agencies, schools, and local governments from around the State of Mississippi that have excelled in their recycling and materials management program efforts.

The nominees are evaluated based on the success of their recycling efforts including promotion and outreach, the duration and extent of their recycling program, their overall environmental stewardship, and the manner in which recycling has improved community waste handling and environmental practices.

The MRC is pleased to recognize the 2017 recipients with our Environmental Hero Awards as “Recyclers of the Year” in the following 6 categories:

  • IMG_3650_previewThe City of Hattiesburg is the recipient of the 2017 “Local Government Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. Under a new administration, Hattiesburg has made great strides in increasing participation in the City’s recycling program. The City conducts various outreach activities and programs in area schools and as part of community events throughout the year to promote recycling and educate residents on its many benefits. In addition, the City’s Recycling Division under the Public Works Department has put several plans in place to increase recycling rates in the City including working with community and neighborhood organizations, conducting marketing of the program through various methods.

 

  • University of Mississippi copyThe University of Mississippi is the recipient of the 2017 “Educational Institution Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. The University of Mississippi conducts several programs and projects which encourage students, faculty, staff and visitors to reduce waste, reuse and recycle. The University has a campus-wide recycling program collecting mixed paper, cardboard, plastics #1 and #2, aluminum and steel. Recycling stations are provided in all buildings on campus and large roll-off bins are available in various locations around campus for the collection of larger amounts of materials making recycling easier and more convenient. In addition, the University collects recyclables during football season as part of their Green Grove Gameday Recycling Program with the help of student volunteers who hand out recycling bags and sort collected materials at the Oxford Recycling Center after the game. Also, the University operates an on-campus composting facility as part of the UM Composting Program. Since the program’s establishment in 2013 more than 45 tons of pre-consumer food waste collected from various campus dining locations around campus has been diverted from the landfill. The UM Composting Program is also working to complete the loop by partnering with the UM Food Bank and UM Garden Club. Expired food from the food bank is composted, the finished compost is used in the UM Garden, and produce grown in the garden is sent to the Food Bank.

In addition to the University of Mississippi, other educational institutions receiving honorable mention for their recycling efforts include Ridgeland High School of the Madison County School District and Northwest Rankin High School of the Rankin County School District.

  • PACCAR Engine Company-1 copyPACCAR Engine Company is the recipient of the 2017 “Business and Industry Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. PACCAR Engine Company in Columbus, MS has been a zero waste facility since starting production in 2010, and in 2016 was admitted to MDEQ’s EnHance Program at the Steward Level. As part of their application for EnHance, the company developed a project to reduce the amount of wood waste produced by using plastic returnable containers instead of wooden crates to transport their products. This change enabled PACCAR to reduce the amount of wood waste from over 1200 tons in 2015 to less than 700 tons in 2017, a 43% reduction. In addition, PACCAR has installed new equipment which allows for the reworking of engines in a manner that could not be done in the past. This practice has resulted in less engines being scrapped reducing the amount of scrap metal waste produced. In 2017, PACCAR reused or recycled nearly 5800 tons of materials including wood waste, plastics, scrap metal and cardboard.

In addition to PACCAR Engine Company, Carpet Designs, Inc. in Jackson, MS receives honorable mention for their recycling efforts in the State.

  • IMG_3661_previewThe Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is the recipient of the 2017 “State Agency Recycler of the Year” Award for the state. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has been recycling within the agency’s facilities since the early nineties, but has recently increased efforts to improve MDEQ’s recycling program to make recycling easier and more convenient for their employees and to help ensure the collection of both a higher quantity and quality of materials for recycling. These efforts include working more closely with the agency’s recycler, Allen’s Recycling, to streamline collection and reduce contamination; increasing the Recycling and Waste Reduction Branch staff; developing a new employee recycling guide; adding new bin and promotional signage at various locations within agency facilities; consolidating and increasing bins where necessary to maximize convenience; and meeting with the different divisions within the agency to present information on the recycling program and answer questions. In addition, the MDEQ continues to lead and assist other state agencies and institutions with recycling as well as promote and encourage recycling throughout the state.
  • IMG_3655_previewKeep Ridgeland Beautiful is the recipient of the 2017 “Non-Profit Organization Recycler of the Year” Award. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful (KRB) is a local affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) organization. As part of their mission, KRB works with the City, area schools and other community organizations to educate residents on the importance of recycling through various outreach and education activities and community events. These efforts include partnering with Ridgeland High School on their recycling program, adding recycling bins in area parks using grant funds, installing a bottle filler in Friendship Park using MDEQ grant funds, and participating in Ridgeland’s Kids Fest and Trunk or Treat events to engage attendees on the importance of recycling. Recently, KRB, with the help of a $5000 grant from PepsiCo created a recycling mascot for the City called the Ridgeland Recycle Ranger. Recycle Ranger, a recycling super hero of sorts, has been a positive addition to the KRB team helping to convey the message of recycling in his travels around the City and to special events including the National Keep America Beautiful meeting in Dallas. Recycle Ranger has also been featured in KRB’s 12 month PSA Billboard campaign in Ridgeland and in Ridgeland Life’s 2017 Winter Magazine. For their commitment to promote and grow recycling in their community, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful receives the 2017 Non-Profit Organization Recycler of the Year Award for the State of Mississippi.

In addition to Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, other non-profit organizations receiving honorable mention for their recycling efforts include Keep Tupelo Beautiful and Mississippi Blood Services.

  • City of Winona copyCity of Winona is the recipient of the 2017 “New Program Recycler of the Year” Award. The City of Winona started the recycling program in 2016 with one drop off location consisting of one 16 cubic yard roll-off bin purchased through MDEQ grant funding. This brightly colored bin displaying recyclables as cartoon like characters with happy faces not only serves to hold materials, but also to help promote the program. The local garden club and other community organizations also help the City promote the new program to residents by conducting presentations at the Public Library and area schools. The promotion of the City’s recycling program has been so successful that the roll-off was needing to be emptied two to three times a week or more. To keep up with the residents’ enthusiasm, the City purchased an additional bin, also brightly decorated, to place at the drop off site. Even with this new bin, the City is transporting a full bin of aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, mixed paper, #1 and #2 plastics to Greenwood/Leflore Recycling once a week. In addition to collecting a large quantity of materials, the City has been able to successfully educate residents on which items do not belong in the bin resulting in the collection of high quality, clean recyclables with very few instances of contamination. The City has plans to continue expanding the recycling program to best serve their residents.

Renew Your MRC Membership Today

Our members make our work possible. We thank all of the members who have supported us over the years, and we encourage new members to partner with us as we continue our efforts to educate residents on the benefits of recycling and promote the growth of the recycling industry in Mississippi.

Now is the time of year to renew your membership for 2018 or increase your support for the year. You may remit your membership dues payment by check, credit card or PayPal. Use the instructions on the invoice that you recently received or visit our Member Payment Options webpage.

For those of you that are not members, but are interested in joining the MRC please check out the different levels of membership and sponsorship available here on the MRC website.

Benefits of MRC Membership

The past year has been full of exciting events, activities and accomplishments for the MRC, including:

  • MRC celebrated 20 years of service to the state of Mississippi with an Anniversary Celebration Reception held in conjunction with the Annual Recycling Conference in Ridgeland, Mississippi;
  • MRC sponsored our Annual Recycling Conference: “Recycling in Mississippi: Our Next Twenty Years” in Ridgeland, Mississippi;
  • MRC unveiled our newly updated website designed to provide information to our members and the general public in a more user-friendly format.
  • MRC provided information to our members on numerous grant funding opportunities, new programs, workshops, webinars, conferences and other resources to promote recycling in the state.

We have a whole lot planned for 2018, including:

  • MRC will award K-12 schools throughout the State of Mississippi with our recycling program grants;
  • MRC in partnership with the Mississippi Beverage Association will provide scholarships to 10 students at Mississippi colleges and universities with environmental studies and interests;
  • MRC will recognize organizations for their outstanding work in promoting and growing recycling in their area with our Environmental Hero, “Recycler of the Year” awards;
  • MRC will be sponsoring our Annual Recycling Awareness Day as a joint event with Keep Mississippi Beautiful at the State Capitol Building; and
  • MRC will be sponsoring a joint recycling and solid waste management conference with the MS Magnolia Chapter of SWANA May 15-17, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

We look forward to these events and opportunities and many others. But we need your commitment to make this possible.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Milner at 601-961-5739 or jmilner@mdeq.ms.gov.

 

Registration Open for the Mississippi Solid Waste and Recycling Conference

Article cross-posted from Mississippi “Magnolia” Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

The Mississippi “Magnolia” Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) invite you to attend the Mississippi Solid Waste and Recycling Conference, May 15-17 in historic Bay St. Louis, Mississippi at the Hollywood Casino Resort.

Download the agenda.

This conference will feature informative sessions on topics of interest to both solid waste and recycling industry representatives. The conference will also feature several opportunities to network across these sectors with your fellow attendees. These opportunities include a “Meet and Greet” reception Tuesday evening as well as several networking activities offered for the afternoon of Wednesday, May 16th (see below for activity descriptions) followed by a buffet-style dinner featuring live entertainment that evening.

  • GOLF TOURNAMENT
    Play a round of golf in our tournament at Hollywood Casino’s Bridges Golf Club. Golf cart, range balls, and lunch will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to tournament winners!
  • FISHING CHARTER
    Reel in that big catch and get your fish stories ready with a 4-hour fishing trip led by Shore Thing Fishing Charters. Several charter boats will be taken out depending on attendee interest. Lunch will be provided. Bait and tackle, cleaning, and bagging will be included. Availability is limited, so be sure to sign up early to reserve your spot.
  • SWAMP TOUR
    If the ocean’s not quite your scene, join us for a real bayou excursion hosted by Cajun Encounters. Located just 30 minutes away in Slidell, LA (transportation available), enjoy a 2-hour boat tour through the Honey Island Swamp, see some bayou creatures, and top off the experience with a crawfish boil.
  • BREWERY TOUR
    Head up the road to Kiln, MS for a tour of the Lazy Magnolia Brewery, Mississippi’s oldest packaging brewery. Learn about their brewing process and after the tour check out their gift shop and taproom “The Porch” to try some locally brewed beers.

If you are prone to sunburns, motion sickness, or other issues which may result from participating in the above activities please plan accordingly. Also, we ask that you please drink responsibly, and don’t drink and drive.

If you prefer to explore on your own, you can enjoy fantastic seafood and great shopping in Old Town Bay St. Louis; take a visit to NASA’s Infinity Science Center; and of course enjoy all the gaming opportunities, lazy river pool and other features the resort has to offer.

Accommodations

SWANA and the MRC have secured a limited number of rooms at the Hollywood Casino Resort for conference attendees at a group rate of $89.00 (plus tax) per night for the nights of May 14-17. Hotel reservations may be made by calling 1-800-946-2442 and using the group code DEQ0514. Reservations must be made by April 14, 2018 to receive the group rate.

Attendees

Early registration conference fees are $250 for members and $300 for non-members through April 23rd. After April 23rd, there will be an additional charge of $50 added to both fees. Registration will be conducted through SWANA’s website, and may be completed by electronic submittal or by mailing, emailing or faxing the individual registration form provided using the contact information on the form. You may register online or if you prefer, use this fillable pdf form which you can print and mail in with your registration fees.

Exhibitors and Sponsors
The Mississippi Solid Waste and Recycling Conference provides a great opportunity for businesses, organizations and other entities to promote their brand, products and services to the solid waste and recycling community as well as show their support for SWANA and the MRC by exhibiting or sponsoring at the conference.

The early registration exhibitor fee is $600 through April 23rd. After April 23rd there will be an additional charge of $100. Exhibitor fees include an exhibit and registration for one attendee. Registration for additional attendees is $250 per person, regardless of time of registration. All exhibitors will be provided a table and one chair.

The sponsorship fee is $1,200 and includes recognition in the program materials; signage at appropriate event times during the conference; and registration for one attendee with the option to exhibit. Registration for additional attendees is $250 per person, regardless of time of registration.

Registration for exhibitors and sponsors will be conducted through SWANA’s website, and may be completed by electronic submittal or by mailing, emailing or faxing the exhibitor/sponsor form provided using the contact information on the form. You may register online or if you prefer, use this fillable pdf form which you can print and mail in with your registration fees.

Checks should be made payable to “Mississippi Chapter of SWANA,” not MRC.
If you have any questions about conference registration, exhibits, sponsorships, hotel accommodations, or the conference in general, please contact Charlie Bock at 601-961-5232 (cbock@mdeq.ms.gov) or Jennifer Milner at 601-961-5739 (jmilner@mdeq.ms.gov).

MRC Now Accepting Applications for School Recycling Grant Program

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) is offering up to $10,000 in grants to schools to support new or expanding recycling programs. Both $500 and $1,000 grants are available to public and private K-12 schools in Mississippi. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 18.

This grant program supports the mission of MRC, a non-profit organization that works to promote and grow recycling efforts in the state.

Download the application form.

Deadline

Applications are due Tuesday, December 18, 2017. Mailed applications should be postmarked by that date; faxed and emailed applications should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Also, please note guidelines and instructions below.

Submitting Applications

MRC accepts applications via:

  • Mail: Attn: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson, 55 County Rd 3067, Oxford, MS 38655
  • Fax: Attn: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson, 662-232-2338
  • Email: Subject Line: School Recycling Grants, Michelle Robinson, mrobinson@oxfordms.net

Questions

If you have any questions, contact Michelle Robinson at 662-232-2745 or at mrobinson@oxfordms.net.

Our State Recycling Conference Is Oct. 25

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) invites you to Mississippi’s largest annual recycling meeting to be held Wednesday, October 25, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland.  The MRC State Recycling Conference draws representatives from local governments, state and federal agencies, universities and colleges, businesses and non-profit organizations as well as recycling and solid waste professionals to participate in informative sessions and networking opportunities.

Download agenda.

This year, we’re headed to Ridgeland, one of Mississippi’s most decorated communities for its great shopping, beautiful green spaces and long-standing commitment to growing recycling. The meeting will be held at Holmes’ McGowan Workforce Training Center.

In addition to the conference, MRC invites you to attend our 20-Year Anniversary Celebration Reception to be held the evening prior to the conference on Tuesday, October 24, from 5:30 p.m. until at Anjou Restaurant located in the Township of Ridgeland.  We hope you will join us as we celebrate MRC’s 20 years of service to the state of Mississippi by meeting up with old and new friends alike to enjoy fun, food, fellowship and live entertainment from Chris Gill!

Registering for the Conference

Conference registration is $75 for members and $125 for non-members. This includes lunch and snacks at breaks as well as attendance at the anniversary reception on the evening of October 24.

To register, please complete and return the Individual Registration Form via mail, e-mail or fax using the contact information given on the form.

Member – Conference Registration

$75.00

Non-Member – Conference Registration

$125.00

Proceeds from MRC conferences and memberships make our Annual Recycling Conference possible as well as support our various programs and events including our School Recycling Grants, College Scholarships, Environmental Hero Recycler of the Year Awards and the Annual Recycling Awareness Day at the State Capitol.

If you would like to join the MRC or renew your membership at this time, click here.

Sponsorships

The MRC State Recycling Conference provides a great opportunity for businesses, organizations and other entities to promote their brand, products and services to the recycling community as well as show their support for the MRC through sponsorship.

To sponsor this year’s conference, fill in the amount your organization would like to contribute ($250 minimum) on the Sponsor Registration Form and return the completed form via mail, e-mail or fax using the contact information given on the form.  If you would like to sponsor the anniversary reception or a break or meal at the conference please explain in the comments/special requests section of the sponsor form.

All sponsors will receive one conference registration and have the option to exhibit at the event.  Exhibit space is limited, and will be reserved first come, first serve.  All sponsors will be recognized in program materials and at appropriate event times.

Conference Sponsorship

Thank you for supporting our conference! $250 is the base level for sponsors.

$250.00

To donate more than $250 via PayPal, please click “Donate” below and select your amount.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Previous Conferences

Learn more about our annual conference and view photos from previous conferences.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Jennifer Milner at 601-961-5739 or jmilner@mdeq.ms.gov.

Mississippi Legislative Awareness Day on Feb. 7

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition (MRC) will be raising awareness for the importance of recycling on Wednesday, February 7, 1 to 3:30 p.m. for the annual Recycling Legislative Awareness Day. MRC and Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) are co-sponsoring the event, which includes an ice cream social for our legislators, on the first floor rotunda. Additionally, MRC plans to recognize the recent recipients of the Recyclers of the Year “Environmental Hero” awards.

MRC members are encouraged to attend this event that provides an opportunity to share information and network with our state legislators on the significant economic impacts the recycling industry brings to our state.

MRC also encourages businesses, industries, and organizations that are involved in recycling to consider having an exhibit for the event. Please note that we will do our best to honor requests for exhibit space; however, space in the rotunda is limited.  We will notify exhibitors in advance of the event if we are unable to fulfill requests for space.

RSVP to Attend

MRC asks that all MRC members planning to attend the Recycling Legislative Awareness Day please contact Jennifer Milner by e-mail to jmilner@mdeq.ms.gov or by phone to 601-961-5739. Also, contact Ms. Milner if you would like to exhibit or have any questions regarding the event.

Webinar on Jan. 30 to Prepare for Event

We have learned from past events that the process of reaching out to your local legislators can be difficult for various reasons. Therefore, to help attendees of this year’s event, we are partnering with the Southeastern Recycling Development Council (SERDC) to conduct an instructional webinar. This webinar will include all the information you will need to engage your legislators at the Recycling Legislative Awareness Day event. The webinar will provide instruction on proper attire for the event, location and parking information, an agenda for the event as well as resources for identifying your legislators, making an appointment with them, and articulating your message to them once given the opportunity.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 30 at 10a.m. CST. You may use the following link to register for the Mississippi Recycling Legislative Awareness Day webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1223199377273241090.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We encourage all of our members planning to attend the 2018 Legislative Awareness Day event to make every effort to attend the webinar on January 30. There is no cost for joining the webinar, and it is open to all who are interested including our friends with Keep Mississippi Beautiful. Therefore, please feel free to pass this information along to others in your organization or business who may be interested.

 

 

 

 

Nominations for MRC Awards Due Jan. 29

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition is now accepting nominations for our annual Environmental Hero “Recycler of the Year” Awards, which recognize outstanding recycling programs and organizations in Mississippi. Please help us by nominating a deserving program or organization that you believe has made a difference in the state.

Nominations are due January 29, 2018.

The awards cover the following categories:

  • Local Governments
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • Businesses/Corporations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Educational Institutions.

In addition, we honor a new program (less than 2 years old) in one or more of these categories.

Download the nomination form.

The MRC evaluates nominations based on promotion of recycling, the duration and extent of the recycling program, the overall environmental stewardship, and the manner in which recycling has improved community waste handling and environmental practices.

This awards program is part of the MRC’s continued efforts to educate our residents on the benefits of recycling and promote the growth of the recycling industry in Mississippi.