More than 5,000 tons recycled in Knoxville recycling program

More than 5,000 tons recycled in first year of Knoxville recycling program

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More than 5,000 tons of recycled material have been collected in the first year of Knoxville's Curbside Recycling Program.  

About 20,000 households take part in the recycling program.

"At this point in time we have collected 5,396.49 tons of materials for recycling," said John Homa, Public Service Department Solid Waste Project Manager.

Officials said that in terms of environmental impact, that amount of material is equivalent to keeping 2,753 cars off the road for a year by preventing greenhouse gas emissions, saving 35,784 trees used to make paper products, or saving 4,020 tons of natural resources such as coal and iron ore.

Households that signed up during initial enrollment were provided with a 96-gallon recycling bin. Materials are picked up every two weeks by Waste Connections, the City's waste contractor, and delivered to another contractor, Rock-Tenn Recycling.

Rock-Tenn processes the materials and ships them to companies that make recycled products from the plastic and paper and other recyclables collected.

Sign-up for the program started in April 2011, and the initial goal of 20,000 households was reached in December. Regular curbside service for those enrolled began last October.

Those signing up now for the program are placed on a waiting list. As residents leave the program for various reasons, such as moving out of town, those on top of the waiting list will be moved into the program.

"As curbside recycling customers ourselves, my family and I know what a great service this is," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "The results from this first year show that Knoxville residents are diverting a huge amount of reusable materials from local landfills and helping protect and sustain our environment."

The program also provides recycling carts in the downtown business district for those residents in apartments and for small businesses in the area. Seventy-two tons of materials have been collected from that part of the program.

Residents recycled an additional 3,092 tons of materials at drop-off centers during the past year.

Officials reminded residents that a number of items are recyclable, beyond the traditional cans, bottles and newspapers. A full list of recyclable items is available on City of Knoxville's website.

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