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

Tuesday, July 9, 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.


Statewide Youth Waterfowl Hunts Set For Jan. 31 And Feb. 7

The 2015 Tennessee statewide youth waterfowl hunts are set for a pair of Saturdays on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. The dates that appear in the annual Tennessee Wildlife Magazine calendar were listed incorrectly. Youths between six and 15 years old may participate in these two youth hunt days and bag limits are the same as during the regular waterfowl season.  F ederal regulations ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks Announce 2014 Park Awards

Tennessee State Parks   held its annual park awards at the 2015 Park Management meeting. Parks throughout the state were recognized and honored for their work in 2014. Awards for innovation, customer service, interpretation and resource management were given to parks in in both the eastern and western regions of the state. Recipients included: Park of the Year ... (click for more)

Denso Manufacturing In Athens, Tn. To Invest More Than $85 Million, Create 400 Jobs

Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee (DMAT) officials announced on Wednesday the company will expand production of its gasoline direct injection (GDI) capability in Athens by building a new 224,000-square-foot facility at its existing location. DENSO, a leading global automotive supplier ... (click for more)

Times Free Press Pays Bonuses, Has Layoffs

The Chattanooga Times Free Press told employees on Monday that the newspaper had improved financial performance over the prior year quarters and employees were receiving two percent bonuses. Sources said at the same time, the newspaper announced some layoffs. Those include four people in the newsroom and an unspecified number in other departments. Bruce Hartmann, president, ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He’s Exempt From Drunk

I love the old story about a popular Senator who, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was asked late one evening, “Sir, what if we get bombed?” to which came the quick reply, “I’d be absolutely delighted … I can get one of my aides to drive us home afterwards.” You think of stuff like that when word comes from Kentucky that state legislator Brandon Smith was caught driving erratically ... (click for more)