Mississippi’s recycling efforts receive a boost

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

By Ron Aldridge
Guest Columnist

Many Mississippians will soon reap the benefits of state-of-the-art recycling upgrades at a facility in neighboring Tennessee. This modernization is key to processing much of Northern Mississippi’s recyclable materials, including the beverage industry’s bottles and cans that are carefully designed to be 100-percent recyclable. More than 400,000 residents will see improved recycling access because of this upgrade.

In December, the West Tennessee Regional Recycling Hub in Henderson, Tenn., will begin installing robotic sorters to speed up the sorting process, enabling even more materials to be recycled. The modernization is thanks to an investment from the beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initiative. 

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Every Bottle Back is a collaborative effort of The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo and sustainability leaders. Its goal is to increase the collection of recyclable materials and provide direct-to-resident education on best recycling practices to improve local recycling systems. Since launching in 2019, Every Bottle Back investments have improved recycling in fifty communities. We are excited that an investment will be now serving our state. 

Here in Mississippi, rural communities have limited access to recycling centers, resulting in a low recycling rate. The upgrades to the West Tennessee hub will help ensure recyclable items from our region are properly sorted so they can be reused, thereby reducing waste. 

Having recently celebrated America Recycles Day, northern Mississippi has something special to point to with this investment that shows a bottle or can recycled is a bottle or can that can be remade into a new product as intended. 

Ron Aldridge is the executive vice president and general counsel for the Mississippi Beverage Association.