What's Wrong With The City Recycle Program? - And Response (2)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Being new to recycling, I have lots to learn.  I rely on 311 and the attendants at the neighborhood collection centers to assist in building my knowledge.  

Recently, I had an experience that makes me reconsidered my recycling efforts.  I loaded up my car, called 311 to verify what I could take, only to be blocked by the attendant at my neighborhood collection center. The 311 operator said yes to my items, including grocery store bags marked #2. But once I got the to collection center, the attendant eagle eyed my items, and refused to allow me to place some of them in the bins, claiming those items were not allowed.  

When I returned home, I searched the Chattanooga.gov website under the recycling program, to verify what was allowed or not.  Items allowed were vague, and even more vague, what was not allowed.  I even dialed 311 and complained, and asked for further clarification of allowed items.  Sadly I was told grocery store bags are not allowed, nor plastic disposable drink cups marked #6 (curbside).  

To my understanding, neighborhood collection centers have different allowable items than does curbside collection. It appears curbside for plastics is #'s 1-7, and collection centers are only #'s 1 and 2.

Other than the 'normal' items, I want to recycle my plastic grocery store bags and plastic drink cups. When I called 311 and queried what the deal was with the grocery store bags, I was informed, they are not allowed, period. I even told the operator I verified grocery store bags were allowed, and was informed no they were not.  I even went as far as to tell the operator of a TFP article stating they were allowed in curbside from 2.9.2012 paragraph 4, along with a sidebar notation. 

This makes me wonder, why if I place appropriately marked items in my curbside recycle bin, why they will be just tossed in the trash.  Doesn't this defeat the purpose of recycling?  I can as easily toss these in the trash myself.  To me, as I am sure many others, items marked with the appropriate recycle number, should be allowed.  After all, isn't an item marked #6 or #2, the same as any other items marked the same? 

In the coming future, the city of Chattanooga will demand every city residence to recycle, if not, be subject to fines. Perhaps the city of Chattanooga should update their online data to reflect what is not allowed. Simply marking allowed recycle numbers is not accurate, apparently.

Rene A. Wood 

* * * 

The city of Chattanooga collects at your curbside every two weeks (if you live inside the city limits).  Many (most?) recycle centers are operated by Hamilton County.  The city and the county have different requirements.  311 is operated by Chattanooga for the city's programs. They wouldn't be able to tell you about Hamilton county's rules.  It's pretty simple, really. 

Of course it'd be simpler if we had one metro government and one recycle agency, but that'd make too much sense. 

Everett Kidder 

* * * 

As far as I know in the last seven years or so the city has never taken any plastic other than Type 1 and 2 with a closed neck. 

Nor have they taken grocery bags. However many stores do. Food Lion did as well as Bi-LO. Not sure about Wal-Mart or Publix but you could check. 

Also I believe the city runs the collection centers within the limits. 

R.W. Young


Lay Off Attacks On Commissioner McQueen

Dear Roy, my bestest friend and adversary. I rarely agree with much of anything you write. And this one of those times I don't agree with you. First and foremost, lay off the attacks against Ms. McQueen. These schools only have themselves to blame and it dates back to two and more generations of students having been damaged.  Many years ago, perhaps 20, I warned "You ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson Booked At County Jail; Says He Is Not Guilty

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson was booked at the Bradley County Jail Friday morning. He faces six separate charges of altering/falsifying/forging a title plate assignment. Sheriff Watson, a former state legislator, posted a $30,000 bond. He issued this statement, "For more than a year, I have confronted numerous accusations from some who desire to have more control ... (click for more)

County School Board Members, Rep. Favors Rap State Take-Over Plans For Low Performing Schools; New Superintendent To Come Up With Community Plan

County School Board members at a Thursday work session took turns rapping a state take-over plan for low performing schools. New Supt. Bryan Johnson said he will work over the next 30-45 days to come up with a community proposal for strengthening the iZone schools. He said, "I'm not sold myself" on some of the aspects of a proposed state partnership with the school district. ... (click for more)

Lookouts Take Second Straight At Mobile Thursday With 4-1 Win

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Nick Gordon scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 4-1 win over the Mobile BayBears on Thursday. Gordon scored on the play in the first to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead after he led off the inning with a single, stole second and then went to third on a groundout. With the score tied 1-1 in the second, the Lookouts ... (click for more)

Katie Tingle Named Covenant Women's Basketball Assistant

The Covenant women's basketball program has announced the hiring of Katie Tingle as the full-time assistant coach for head coach Sarah Harris. Tingle replaces Kiaira Cooper, who recently left the program for an administrative position at Houghton College.  "I am so thankful to director of athletics Tim Sceggel and head coach Sarah Harris for this opportunity to ... (click for more)