July 26, 2010 - The City of Knoxville is partnering with Waste Connections to launch a pilot recycling program in downtown Knoxville.
The project is set to begin this week and will feature receptacles located at approximately 20 different locations downtown for recyclable material including aluminum cans, bottles, glass containers, plastic cups and mixed paper among other items.
The pilot program grew out of discussions in one of the city's Energy & Sustainability Task Force committees. Waste Connections, the city's contractor for household garbage pickup, is working with the city to collect the recycling data and is providing the financial support to implement the pilot program.
"This is basically a trial run to answer some questions about recycling downtown including how much will these containers will be used, are they convenient, are they a visual distraction, are there better ways to do this?" said Susanna Bass, the city's sustainability program manager. "We're very interested to see what happens."
John Homa, the city's solid waste reduction specialist, said the project will take place over the next two months and will include monitoring the amount and type of recyclables generated.
"We want to see if this is feasible economically and from an operational standpoint and whether it should continue as an ongoing program and be expanded," Homa said. "We'll also look at the types of containers we would use long term and the costs in addition to determining where the best locations would be in relation to pedestrian traffic flow."
Waste Connections is providing the containers and collection services for the project at no cost to the city.
"We are excited to be part of the program," said Steve LaFollette, division vice president for Waste Connections Knoxville. "We are in this for the long haul and want to contribute to the community as good neighbors."
Initially the test program will employ 95-gallon recycling containers. If it's successful the city would look at obtaining or developing a recycling receptacle that fits in with the downtown surroundings.
The pilot effort is aimed primarily at people who work and visit downtown who would like to be able to recycle a can or a newspaper rather than just throw it away. It is not a curbside program for residents who live in the center city.
The city's Downtown Recycling Center at 400 State Street currently serves the recycling needs of downtown area residents.
The city is also in the process of developing a free citywide, single-stream, curbside recycling program but the first phase of that will not begin until 2011. Waste Connections offers curbside recycling to city residents as a private, for-pay, service.
Bass said there will be an interactive survey to obtain feedback on the pilot program. The survey will be available, both online and in a hard copy form, this fall.
"Ultimately we would have to decide at some point whether we want to keep it, expand it or do away with it altogether," she said.
The recycling containers will be moved into place later this week.
36 MARKET SQ
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MARKET SQ GARAGE @ 402 WALNUT (2)
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KRUTCH PARK NEAR PICNIC TABLES
UTILITY BOX IN KRUTCH PARK EXTENSION
ACROSS FROM 323 UNION
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CORNER MARKET & CLINCH
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