published Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Smallest city in Hamilton County offers curbside recycling

by Naomi Jagoda

The smallest municipality in Hamilton County is the first to have a curbside recycling program with every resident enrolled.

Of course, the enrollment of Ridgeside's 160 residents is automatic and doesn't cost them anything extra.

Ridgeside -- a Missionary Ridge community entirely surrounded by Chattanooga -- is entering into an agreement with Allied Waste Services in which residents will get their recycling collected every other week starting Dec. 1.

"We're excited about this," City Commissioner Hugh Moore said. "It's very user-friendly."

Matthew Bane, the liaison between Ridgeside and Allied, said the city had a desire to go green.

"We're trying to promote Ridgeside as an environmentally friendly city," Bane said.

In other parts of Hamilton County, residents must pay an extra fee for recycling or must call or enroll online to get the service, Bane said.

But that leads to less-than-perfect participation rates in recycling programs, Robert Stone of Allied said.

In Ridgeside, everyone will be given a recycling bin as well as a trash bin, Bane said.

"We're trying to eliminate the barriers to recycling," he said. "There's no reason why anyone would not want to [participate]."

Ridgeside residents will be able to recycle paper, glass, plastics and metal cans, Bane said.

Allied will provide both garbage and recycling to Ridgeside for the price the city budgeted solely for garbage, about $65,000 a year, he said.

Residents will also be able to go online and track how much is being recycled, Bane said. They also can gather points for rewards at places including Fresh Market and McDonald's.

Stone said other municipalities in Hamilton County are interested in similar programs.

"Ridgeside is the first. They won't be the last," he said.

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