No Blount allowed: Maryville to restrict recycling centers
From Staff Reports
The City of Maryville is moving forward with plans to monitor its trash recycling centers and allow only city residents to use them.
Maryville City Council approved the operational changes to start April 1.
Using a combination of city staff and temporary employees, centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will be closed on Sundays.
In addition to proof of residency, staff will monitor for compliance of types of materials accepted and proper use of containers.
When recycling bins are close to capacity, staff will contact the hauler, RockTenn in Knoxville, to have them transported.
Additionally, council agreed to close the Fairpark center on East Broadway Avenue.
“While we appreciate the opportunity to use this private property, we are unable to properly maintain it — especially during weekends — and therefore have recommended closing it so that we can better focus on the remaining centers,” said Angie Luckie, Maryville director of engineering and public works.
In March 2012, the city and local recycler RockTenn created a partnership to allow for single-stream recycling. Changing to single‐stream offered a more convenient option to the recycling public and allowed for more types of materials. Prior to this change, residents had to sort their recycling materials when delivering them to the centers.
“Before moving to single‐stream, the three-year average of recycled materials was 950 tons per year,” said Public Works Superintendent Dan Cantwell. “Since March 2012, tonnage has doubled and is projected to be 2,000 tons in the first year; 1,500 tons were collected in the first nine months.”
This increase in usage has led to capacity challenges.
“While no one anticipated such a jump in usage, together, RockTenn and city staff have worked to meet the challenge,” Luckie said. “However, without implementing some operational changes, we cannot keep up with demand.”
City Manager Greg McClain praised RockTenn’s innovation and partnership with the city. “RockTenn has afforded us the opportunity to provide single-stream recycling to our citizens. They have worked with us to keep the centers running, even with the doubled demand.
“The city benefited tremendously from RockTenn’s new, uniform and well-maintained containers at the three recycling centers. We applaud this company for their efforts to provide our community with such a valuable service.”
Curbside long term
In order to meet the city’s federally mandated solid waste reduction requirements, a recycling
program is necessary. Staff recommended that city council consider curbside recycling as a long-term solution, but current economic conditions do not support the investment required to move to this plan. Therefore, a temporary plan is needed in the interim.
“If we plan to go to curbside, we do not want to spend a lot of money that we will have to walk away from in a few years,” McClain said. “The options presented are a stopgap measure to get us to our long-term solution.”
County residents had been allowed to use the centers before capacity became an issue.
Blount County Commission Thursday night appointed an ad hoc committee to look at the recycling issue for county residents.
McClain said, “We look forward to working with the county to explore partnership opportunities in the future.”
Mclain also recognized community efforts. “We are cognizant of how important recycling is to our community, and we will continue to work to find the best solutions to this growing opportunity. We appreciate our community’s support of recycling and are confident that with the proposed changes, we will be able to meet the demands effectively until a long-term solution can be implemented.”