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Nashville to expand curbeside recycling collection next year



Don’t be so quick to trash certain items. Buzz60’s Sean Dowling has more.

Nashville, you asked for it. 

City leaders have tried for years to find solutions to your growing calls for additional recycling services. But now with the help of a $2 million state grant and a match from the city, it’s happening.

Metro will increase the frequency of its curbside recycling collection from once a month to every other week starting next year. 

The expanded services will roll out initially to an estimated 140,000 residents. Metro will purchase 16 collection vehicles and hire 13 new employees to run the routes.

“This is a priority for Mayor Briley,” Briley spokesman Thomas Mulgrew said. “Our curbside recycling program helps us waste less and protect the environment in Nashville, so the mayor is pleased that the pickup frequency will increase to every other week, starting next year.”

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Public Works employee Ricky Lloyd inspects a resident’s recycling can to look for non recycling items. He will place a sticker on can to notifying residents of items not allowed in the recycling stream. (Photo: Shelley Mays /Tennessean)

The curbside program expansion was first reported by WPLN. 

It comes at a time where cities across the country are ending or drastically reducing their curbside programs due to restrictions brought on by China’s material import ban.

Americans recycle about 66 million tons of material each year with about one third of it sent to China, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Metro’s expansion is also notable in light of the city’s decision last month to ditch its pilot glass recycling program from Lower Broadway Honky Tonks.

Like many cities, Metro doesn’t take glass in residential curbside bins because of cost and cross-contamination.

The city had hoped that the glass program from the downtown bars would make glass recycling economical, and even profitable, but separation and collection challenges proved otherwise.

The program collected 432 tons of glass in 12 months and cost Metro $315,000, according to Metro Public Works. 

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Reach Yihyun Jeong at yjeong@tennessean.com. Follow her on Twitter @yihyun_jeong.


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