In fact the program has grown so much that on Monday the city placed three large recycling poppers on North Bayou Avenue, across from Atmos Energy.
The poppers will be available 24-hours a day.
“Eventually we’ll remove the smaller containers near the depot downtown,” said Ray Bell, director of Cleveland Public Works, who said the new area has lights for safety.
Bell said Cleveland is fortunate city officials are supportive of recycling because the poppers cost over $30,000 not including the trailer, which moves them to public works to be emptied.
“Anything to do with recycling is very expensive,” said Scott Fuquay with public works.
Bell said the receptacles at the depot will be used somewhere else but in addition to the new location, people can still drop off recycling at public works between 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Bell said if recyclers come to the new location and notice a popper missing, they shouldn’t panic.
“If a popper isn’t here, we’ve most likely taken it to public works to empty it. It’ll take about 30 minutes but we’ll bring it back.
“The community has really embraced the program,” said Bell. “We have people from Shelby and Mound Bayou bringing us their recyclables.”
Bell and Fuquay also said people from Indianola and other areas outside of Bolivar County have begun using Cleveland’s recycling program.
“We don’t mind. Bring it on over,” said Fuquay, who mentioned recycling programs in other communities have been closing.
Bell said no recycling program is profitable at the beginning but over time it should start to bring money into the city.
Over the last year, Cleveland’s recycling program has partnered with several industries and businesses, including Delta State University, to get more people involved.
Bales of cardboard, plastics and other items are taken to Brown and Sons in Cleveland, which sells them for recycling and returns the money to the program.
Items, which may be recycled, include plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, mixed paper, plastic bags and cardboard boxes.
Fuquay said if people bring boxes to the new location, it would help if the boxes could be broken down to make more room in the popper.
Not to be dropped off for recycling are medical waste items, Styrofoam, aluminum foil and food soiled items.