Despite the threat of stormy conditions Saturday morning, hundreds of people made their way out to participate in at least two environmental events in Harrison County – Bring It Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day and Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival. More than 650 cars filed into Plant Watson to drop of their household hazardous waste at the annual Bring It! event, while 72 total volunteers – about 30 from Mississippi Power – helped unload and sort it.“I am constantly amazed by the hard work Mississippi Power employees contribute to this event, all with a smile on their face,” Jenna Bennett of the Harrison Co. Beautification Commission said. “We had one of our most successful events in recent years. It was a great day.”
For 19 years, Mississippi Power and the Commission have teamed up to provide county residents with a free way to dispose of household hazardous waste products like paint, batteries, oil, tires and electronic waste.
“We collected 20 tons of electronic scrap,” Plant Watson compliance specialist Mike Metz said. “We are seeing more and more of this material collected each year. When people get new televisions or computers and they don’t know what to do with their old ones, they can bring them out here and get them recycled for free.”
Coast families and other visitors also attended the 23rd annual Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival in Pass Christian.
About 400 kids and adults visited the 20 exhibitors who provided educational information on the Coastal wildlife and natural resources and the importance of protecting them.
Hosted by the Department of Marine Resources, Mississippi Power employees have played a major role in the planning of ‘Celebrate the Gulf’ almost since its incept
ion. About 22 volunteers helped set up for the event, register students in the annual school attendance contest and provide both kids and adults a chance to take a spin on the company’s Green Machine.
“Each year, Mississippi Power volunteers help make this event happen,” said Jen Buchanan, education coordinator for Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources and chairman of the Celebrate the Gulf event. “They are some of the most dedicated folks I have every worked with and we truly couldn’t do this event without them.”
Despite a forecast of 80 percent chance of rain, the event was a great success, according to Theron Furr, who serves on the planning committee and led the coordination of Mississippi Power volunteers.
“We had almost 300 students register for the school contest and many, many ride our Green Machine,” Furr said. “It was a great team effort that helped promote the natural resources we have in South Mississippi and provide early education to future environmental stewards on the importance of protecting those resources.”