HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Mayor and other city officials held a press conference Thursday afternoon in regard to video allegations and new corrections of Public Works recycle program.
“On September 11 at the Mayor’s request. I wrote the Attorney General Mississippi, for an official opinion as to whether the city has the legal authority to reimburse or give a credit, to those residence who were billed for recycling services by the city," said City Attorney, Randy Pope. "When in fact the products they assumed were being recycled were instead taken to the transfer station of the Pine Belt Regional Solid waste management authority,”
June 2017, a video revealed designated recycle truck #19947 emptying commodities into a solid waste landfill holding station and not the intended destination of F.V. recycling.
“We were wrong in our mission to deliver reliable and efficient services for those who volunteered for curbside recycling,” said Director of Public Works, Larry Barnes.
Mayor Barker said in the next 10 days, his administration will send out letters to approximately 150 house holds impacted.
“In that letter there will be a form that allows the account holder to select, whether they wish to have a credit to their account at the Hattiesburg’s water billing office, a refund which should take about 30 days to turn around or waive their right to a credit or a refund,” said the Mayor.
The Mayor stated regaining the trust of citizens is priority along with both continuing and growing the recycle program.
"We’re making it easier for the recycling program. We are going to launch and do a number of outreach programs. We’re starting a recycling ambassador program in each of our five wards and we are determined to see this program grow,”
Currently, Public Works has two trucks for recycling. One truck will serve as the primary and the other as a second conditional truck to be used to collect recyclables located in the alleyways and some avenues of Ward 3 on Wednesday and Ward 4 on Thursdays.