Chattanooga, Tennessee – The City of Chattanooga released a report today indicating that the city’s recycling program has seen an increase in both convenience center usage and curbside collection participation. Recycle materials brought to the convenience centers increased over 62% during calendar year 2007. Clean recycle curbside collection tonnage increased from 2,300 tons in 2006 to 3,081 tons in 2007.
“It’s great to see concrete evidence that there is a significant increase in the number of Chattanooga citizens who are recycling and recycling the right way,” said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. “This shows the Recycle Right education campaign continues to work: there has been a definite increase in participation at convenience centers and a decrease in the percentage of residue from the materials collected through curbside recycling pickup. We watched the numbers steadily increase each month in 2007 and we expect this trend to continue in 2008.”
Recycling Convenience Centers
In 2007 convenience centers received more than 71,250 visits and collected 1,365 tons of clean recyclable materials. This equates to an average of 38.32 pounds of recyclables per visit.
Convenience centers offer a method for disposing of recyclable glass which is not collected at curbside due to increased potential for contaminated fiber material which lowers the overall value of the fiber. Additionally, broken glass in collection vehicles acts like ‘sand’ in causing severe wear and tear on the moving parts of collection vehicles.
Convenience centers also offer a method of recycling used motor oil, small electronics and both wet and dry cell batteries. In the near future the centers will offer a means of disposing of tube type and compact type fluorescent bulbs. Disposing of fluorescent bulbs in this manner will insure that the mercury contained in these bulbs does not enter our landfill.
Recycling convenience centers are located at Warner Park, Patton Recreation Center, Access Road at DuPont Parkway and Batters Place Road with another site scheduled for the old Michael’s restaurant site at Brainerd Road. These centers provide bins and containers to sort recyclable materials on site thus allowing cleaner recyclable products to be collected: fewer residues and a better recyclable material. They are open seven days a week.
Monthly curbside recycling collection coupled with convenience center usage has resulted in a 34% increase in the amount of clean recyclable materials collected. Clean recycle collection tonnage increased from 2,300 tons in 2006 to 3,081 tons in 2007. This represents a 36% reduction in cost per ton of clean recyclable material and an annual cost reduction of nearly $90,000 in landfill and tipping fees.
The change from weekly to monthly curbside recycle collection in conjunction with the recycle convenience centers has reduced the amount of non-recyclable residue produced by curbside collection by 70%. Monthly versus weekly collection has meant fewer heavy trucks on the roads, saving tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel each year from impacting the environment as well as cost savings from operating and maintaining additional equipment. This measure has resulted in a 75% annual cost savings in fuel. Additional heavy trucks on residential roads leave a larger carbon footprint and require additional road rehabilitation.
For additional information or questions about recycling, please visit www.recycleright.org. You may also call 3-1-1 or (423) 425-6311.