75,000: Approximate number of city garbage customers
14,000: City recycling customers
2,000: Recycling bins to be ordered
Chattanooga residents soon could have a new way to recycle.
The City Council is set to approve on second reading tonight an ordinance that will allow recycling containers to be leased to city residents for a one-time fee of $50.
Justin Holland, the city's sanitation manager, said the cost is to recoup the city's investment.
"We're recovering the cost of the containers," he said.
The city initially will put about $100,000 into the program to order 2,000 recycling containers. This comes after the city's Department of Public Works requested the amount of money for this fiscal year's capital improvements budget. The request did not go through, so this is a way the public will still be able to get recycling cans, Holland said.
Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd said she thought it was good the city found an alternative way of getting the recycling cans out on city streets.
"I can't afford one," she said. "But if I could, I would want one."
Holland said the blue cans will be 95 gallons, the same size as the current garbage cans. It is not mandatory to lease the cans, he said, and only will be an option. Customers still will be able to use personal containers or place the clear or blue plastic recycling bags on the street.
He said if anyone has a second city-issued garbage can they can trade that in to the city for a blue recycling can at no cost.
He said residents will be able to purchase up to two recycling containers.
Holland said the program is expected to start within a few weeks. Those interested should contact 3-1-1.
Councilman Manny Rico, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said he is glad the program is rolling out to help encourage more people to recycle.
"It's a shame as much stuff as we put in that landfill," he said. "And it's expensive to maintain."