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MIDD-West suspends recycling operations

Due to COVID-19 MIDD-West has closed its facility-based services, which includes recycling operations.

“We have many of our disabled recycling workers who have immunity vulnerabilities which add to the necessity for precaution,” MIDD-West Industries director Kearney Waites said.

MIDD-West is a non-profit organization that operates a variety of employment and skills training programs for the developmentally disabled of Warren County.

Waites said the recycling operations began in 1990 and this is the first time the service has had to close down.

As of Friday, Waites said he could not give a specific date when recycling will resume, but intentions are to restart when it is safe.

“I am making the call week by week based on the rate of infection and rate of exposure that we discover some of our families may have,” he said.

For those who recycle, Waites’ advice was to discard all saved materials.

“There is no other option,” he said.

MIDD-West moves several tons of recycled material a week, Waites said, and judging from the number of calls he is getting daily, it proves how valuable this service is for the community.

“Some people are quite distraught we are not doing it (recycling). Some people think we are a public utility and want to address us as such and I have to explain to them we are a private non-profit. We are doing it for the benefit of the community and even more so for our disabled workers,” he said.

These workers, which number 30 to 40 people, Waites said, are paid hourly wages for their services.

“And when not working they are in the functional skills training lab where they learn life skills,” he said.

While the MIDD-West facility-based services are closed, Waites said all other community employment is still intact.

“I am just not opening the day program and the workshop right now,” he said.

Waites said he will be glad when the coronavirus is “mitigated.”

To stay informed as to when recycling will resume, Waites said to follow MIDD-West on its Facebook page.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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