America Recycles Day is Thursday, and the Department of Environment and Conservation is joining other state, county and city agencies across Tennessee, providing several opportunities for citizens to reduce waste and make a difference. In addition, TDEC, TDOT and Tourist Development are pleased to announce the implementation of the Welcome Center Recycling Program at welcome centers across the state.
“This year marks the 15th anniversary of America Recycles Day and millions of Americans have pledged to increase their recycling habits at home and at work,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “However, recycling away from home is one challenge that all recyclers face. Along with Commissioners Schroer and Whitaker, I am pleased to announce the implementation of our Welcome Center Recycling Program at centers across Tennessee. Visitors to our state will now see receptacles with blue and green lids for recycling.”
Welcome center visitors across the state have the opportunity to recycle cans and bottles at the I-65 /Ardmore, I-81/ Bristol, I-75 /Chattanooga, I-24 /Clarksville, I-26 / Erwin, I-40 / Hartford, I-75 / Jellico, I-65 / Mitchellville, I-40 /Smith County and I-24 / Tiftonia centers. The program began with a pilot study at the Clarksville Welcome Center and grew to a few other locations to test the feasibility. The program’s community partners that provide recycling services include Appertain Corporation, Bi-County Solid Waste, Orange Grove Recycling and Campbell, Putnam, Robertson, Sullivan and Unicoi counties.
More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. State agencies such as TDOT, TDEC and Tourist Development will partner with Keep Tennessee Beautiful and the Tennessee Recycling Coalition, joining an impressive roster of county and city governments, non-profits and local schools on a number of projects throughout the state ranging from charitable drives to expanded recycling opportunities. These projects are designed to encourage employees, residents and visitors of the Volunteer State to both minimize waste and to recycle as often as possible. Visit www.americarecyclesday.org to find a listing of events in your area.
“With 84 events across the state, I encourage all Tennesseans to join these efforts and make a commitment to better protect and preserve our natural resources by reducing our waste stream,” said Mr. Martineau.
State Facility Recycling Program
The Department of Environment and Conservation is also hosting several State Facility Recycling Program informational booths throughout the Nashville area, designed to educate state employees on the importance of recycling. Collection boxes will be available for the following items: cell phones, rechargeable batteries, inkjet cartridges, compact discs and eye glasses. Locations include:
• Thursday, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.: TDEC and TDOT, G Lobby - James K. Polk Building (505 Deadrick Street, Nashville, TN 37219) A drug disposal drop box will also be on site to discard of unwanted, unused or expired medications. Needles and liquid medications will not be accepted.
• Monday, Nov. 19: TDEC, TennCare and General Services Printing – TennCare Building (310 Great Circle Rd., Nashville, TN 37228)
• Tuesday, Nov. 20: TDEC and TWRA – (600 Hogan Rd.37211)
In addition, the Nashville Downtown Partnership and Sims Recycling Solutions will collect old electronics on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Fifth Third Center Plaza, 424 Church St. Items that will be collected include laptops, printers, speakers, keyboards, mice, PDAs, radios, stereos, MP3 players, DVD/CD players, cell phones, CPUs, servers and hard drives. On Nov. 17, Metro Nashville will hold a free e-waste event at LP Field, Lot D, from 8 a.m. until noon. Residents can bring by computers, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, cell phones and a variety of other electronics to be recycled. For more information about this free event, visit www.nashville.gov/pw.
The State Facility Recycling Program, coordinated by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, continues to expand its waste prevention and recycling efforts. The program targets mixed office paper, plastic and aluminum recycling, as well as non-traditional items, such as clothing, coat hangers, eyeglasses and greeting cards, for reuse, donation and recycling. For more information about Tennessee’s State Employee Recycling Program, visit the website at www.tn.gov/environment/osp/serp/.
Since the program’s inception in 1990, state employees have recycled 18,791 tons of mixed office paper, saving $564,000 in landfill disposal costs while generating nearly $213,000 in recycling revenue. These recycling revenues are deposited in the Solid Waste Management Fund, which is used to help assist local communities in their solid waste reduction efforts.