Orange Grove Center’s Recycling Program Continues To Thrive Through Partnership With City Of Chattanooga

Tuesday, July 09, 2013
The recycling partnership that began 23 years ago between the City of Chattanooga and Orange Grove Center continues to thrive as an invaluable service throughout the community today.  The Orange Grove Recycling program provides Chattanooga residents with a number of recycling services, and employs over two hundred individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

 

The Orange Grove Center, a private, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization serving adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities, is the oldest and largest organization in Tennessee serving this population.
Established in 1953 by families of children with developmental disabilities, the organization is celebrating sixty years of incredible public and private endeavors by serving 750 individuals with varying abilities and challenges.

The recycling program was initiated in 1990 when the city began to allow residents to place recyclables at the street for pick-up.  The items were then sent to the Orange Grove Center Materials Recovery Facility.   In 2006, when the City decided to utilize a partial curbside and convenience center approach, it was Orange Grove that agreed to manage the City’s Convenience Centers as well as the City Refuse Centers. 

“Individuals served by Orange Grove need employment services and remunerative work placements in order to be less dependent and more involved in their community,” said Kyle Hauth, Executive Director of Orange Grove Center.  “The recycling partnership between the city and Orange Grove allows the individuals we serve to be productive, have jobs and contribute to the overall welfare of our city.”

Today, there are a number of recycling initiatives that Orange Grove manages in order to create jobs and training for the people it serves. Orange Grove developed The Better Shred than Read business three years ago, a secure document destruction program that serves 150 businesses in the area including large federal contractors, hospitals and law offices, among others.  The program employs thirteen individuals with intellectual disabilities and four people without disabilities.  The program recently added a second truck in order to keep up with increasing demand for services.
Other recycling endeavors include the five Convenience Centers where approximately 11,000 families choose to take their recyclables, rather than use the curbside service.  The Convenience Centers alone employ twenty four people with intellectual disabilities.  

Orange Grove also maintains Chattanooga’s Refuse Centers, were residents can dispose of large items like furniture and appliances; Recycle Express, serving 170 business in Chattanooga through a pickup services each week; Document Destruction, developed as a result of a national grant in order to employ people with significant disabilities;  and, the Electronic Recycling Plant, which allows individuals and business in East Tennessee to drop of electronics for recycling.

Recycling Center Coordinator, Greg Lindsey, said, “Orange Grove has proven to be a leader in efficient and well-planned recycling endeavors while granting employment for many hard working individuals.” 

Orange Grove has spent over $3 million in capital improvements for the recycling program.  Employees separate, bale, and sell to regional recycling end markets.  The result?  Orange Grove Recycling diverts more than 1.5 million pounds of materials each month from local landfills.


Invasive Zebra Mussels Found In Cherokee Lake

An invasive species has made its way into Cherokee Lake threatening to disrupt the lake’s ecosystem and clog the lake with harmful and unsightly mussel colonies. Last month, an angler fishing near the TWRA boat ramp at Olen Marshall Bridge in Bean Station discovered what he believed to be zebra mussels.  He contacted the TWRA office and biologists were able to positively ... (click for more)

Fall Turkey Harvest Stands At More Than 1,400

Tennessee turkey hunters recorded 1,464 harvests during the two-week 2014 fall turkey season which was held in October. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports that the 2014 fall harvest stands at 1,464. The harvest is 165 less than the 1,628 harvested during the 2013 fall season. Fall turkey hunting was allowed in 78 of the state’s 95 counties this fall. Maury County ... (click for more)

Investor Group Plans $31 Million Hotel In Chattanooga Bank Building

An investor group announced that it is planning the development of an upscale 150-room hotel in the historic Chattanooga Bank Building. MCA is comprised of 20 EB-5 investors as limited partners with Red Leaf Development, managed by David Roos, as the general partner. Long-time partner PHG is involved in the development of the hotel and will be responsible for its management ... (click for more)

Police Say Texts From Slain Minister Detailed Drug Deals

An investigator testified Thursday that a minister who was beaten to death during an apparent drug deal had texts on his phone dealing with similar exchanges of illegal drugs. The minister's wife said he had gone out that night as part of a church counseling program to women. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound charges of felony murder and especially aggravated ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)