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.



Firearms Deer Hunting Season Opens Oct. 21 In Georgia

For many hunters, the opening day of firearms deer season feels a little like Christmas morning does to a child. Firearms deer hunters can take to the woods beginning  Sat., Oct. 21,  and continue through  Jan. 14, 2018,  statewide. “Georgia is one of the greatest deer hunting states in the country,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the ... (click for more)

Citizens Urged To Practice Safe Burning

 The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is observing National Fire Prevention Week ( Oct. 8-14 ) by reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is  Oct. 15 .   “It’s important, and required by law from  October 15, 2017 to May 15, 2018 , that ... (click for more)

State Comptroller Says More Control Over Spending Needed At CVB

The state Comptroller’s Office is recommending the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) board of directors take steps to adopt detailed policies concerning how the CVB spends its money.   The Comptroller’s Office has completed a review of Hamilton County’s hotel/motel taxes which are all forwarded to the CVB. The annual report is required by Public Chapter ... (click for more)

County Commission Votes 7-2 For Rezoning For C&D Landfill At Harrison

The County Commission on Wednesday voted 7-2 to approve rezoning for a Construction and Debris landfill at Harrison.  Voting in favor were Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Sabrena Smedley, Greg Martin, Tim Boyd, Randy Fairbanks and Jim Fields.   Opposed were Chester Bankston and Joe Graham.  Commissioner Boyd said it was just the first step in permitting for ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)