Chattanooga expands recycling program to businesses

Chattanooga expands recycling program to businesses

November 10th, 2012 by Cliff Hightower in Local Regional News

Robert Smith, driver, stops the truck as Kenneth Trammell, crew worker, services a residence in Alton Park using one of the city of Chattanooga's recycling trucks in this file photo.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

RECYCLING PROGRAM

To sign up for the city's recycling program call 3-1-1 or 423-425-6311. You may also go to www.chattanooga.gov.

Chattanooga's recycling program is getting bigger.

City officials said this week they have expanded the recycling program to area businesses that already receive city garbage service.

"We have about 1,700 businesses we service," said Justin Holland, the city's sanitation manager.

Holland said the hope is about 20 percent of the businesses will participate in recycling, the same proportion as enrolled in the city's residential program.

This comes on the heels of an expansion of the recycling program earlier this year when the city started accepting all plastics except Styrofoam.

The only costs associated with the expanded program are operational costs that will be absorbed into the current Public Works budget, Holland said.

Holland said the nonresidential pickup will include businesses, churches or any type of facility that is not a home and uses a city garbage can for pickup.

The goal is to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill, extending its life and saving taxpayers money by not having to pay more fees for using the landfill, he said. It is also more environmentally friendly, he said.

The same rules will apply to the nonresidential recycling program that exist for residential. The service will run biweekly and all recycling must be placed curbside in recycling bags or containers.

Tera Roberts, director of adult services for the Orange Grove Center, the city's partner in its recycling program, said they would have no problem processing any of the extra material collected.

Orange Grove Center even welcomes it, she said.

"The more recycling, the more people we put to work," she said.

The city announced in February it would start collecting all plastics for its curbside recycling service. Orange Grove Center processes the material then sells it on the market to help pay for the disadvantaged adults it serves in its programs.

Roberts said the plastics program has been a success and the amount of recycling material sent to the landfill has decreased drastically.