| March 18, 2011 -
The City of Knoxville will launch its greenway recycling program along Morningside, James White, Neyland, Second Creek and Third Creek Greenways with a ceremony set for 4 p.m., Monday, March 21.
The event will be held at the Sutherland Entrance to the Third Creek Greenway.
Fourteen single-stream recycling bins have been placed along the 14-mile-long connected greenway system for citizen use and the recyclables will be collected via a Knoxville Recycling Coalition representative on bicycle, towing a collection trailer.
The Knoxville Recycling Coalition approached the city this year about the project and has been working through the logistics of the program with John Gardner, the city's Greenways Ranger.
"We're doing this program with recycle bins along Knoxville's most connected and used greenways to test the feasibility of recycling on greenways," said Gardner.
The City signed the contract with the Knoxville Recycling Coalition for a one-year pilot program at $2,700. The primary objective is to collect data to determine potential permanent recycling plans along the greenways.
If things go well city officials plan to implement a permanent greenway recycling program.
"The City's Sustainability Task Force had made this an objective because recreation venues like our parks and greenways obviously attract heavy use of sports drink bottles," said Joe Walsh, Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director.
"In Parks and Recreation, we are health-oriented. That goes for improving people's fitness and health, as well as the health of our environment. We were eager to jump on board with the KRC proposal to set up a recycling program on our greenways."
As part of the contract, the KRC has provided all recycle bins and their staff will collect the recyclables via bicycle, traveling through the greenway system. Each recycle bin holds 95 gallons of single-stream recyclables.
Single stream recycling means that all recyclables - paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum, and tin - except for Styrofoam will be collected from these bins.
The bicycle-towed trailer can carry up to 400 pounds and will be decorated with the KRC's "Purple Paper Eater" theme, which can be seen on their trucks throughout Knoxville.
"It just made sense to collect recyclables through these greenways because they connect some the City's most popular parks," said Micah Reynolds of the Knoxville Recycling Coalition who originally proposed the project to the City. "We have seen other cities in the country do something similar, and we were glad the City was supportive of the idea."
For more information on the City's greenway system, please visit www.cityofknoxville.org/greenways.