Reynolds Asks Help
After County Stops
Citing Drop In Price
BY SARAH GREGORY
Receptacles for recyclable plastic materials may soon show up in various places within the Greeneville town limits as a means of supporting a longstanding recycling program of the Greene County Partnership's Keep Greene Beautiful.
At the Tuesday, Sept. 17, meeting of the Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Keep Greene Beautiful Director Jennifer Reynolds addressed the board to ask that recycling bins for plastics be placed alongside existing cardboard and paper recycling bins in Greeneville.
The request, Reynolds said, comes because the Greene County government has decided to stop recycling plastic. (County says the reason is financial and that the stoppage is temporary. Please see related article on Page A-1.)
Without the ability to take plastics to the county's convenience centers to be recycled, citizens who choose to recycle plastic items such as milk jugs and water bottles have nowhere to take those materials, Reynolds said.
She told the board that, if the Town could add receptacles for plastic, she believed most county citizens outside Greeneville who are already accustomed to sorting and recycling would continue to do so, even though it meant making an additional trip to a recycling bin located within the town limits.
The addition of bins within the Town would also provide Greeneville residents with a place to take plastic bottles which would otherwise be put in the landfill with other household trash, Reynolds said.
'A HUGE STEP BACK'
Reynolds said she felt the county's decision to stop recycling plastic was "a huge step back in my job -- what I've been trying to accomplish for the last eight years."
Her primary role, she said, "is to inform the community about recycling."
Reynolds told the board that local residents have taken advantage of the plastic recycling that has, until recently, been offered.
"I'm very proud of our residents [for choosing to recycle plastics]. That's why I think it's another crucial point to not take a step back," she said.
Reynolds said she has discussed the logistics of plastic recycling with Greeneville Department of Public Works Director Brad Peters.
Peters spoke to the board concerning difficulties the Public Works Department might have in helping the Town provide such a service.
He said the best solution would be to have one truck dedicated specifically to recycled plastic.
That would solve the problem of having nowhere to store the material until the Town could accumulate a large enough load to transport to the company that handles the recycling process, he said.
Peters noted that later in the meeting the board would consider purchase of a new truck for the department.
That purchase -- which was planned prior to discussion on the 17th -- would allow an older truck to be dedicated to plastic recycling, he said.
Later in the meeting, aldermen voted to approve purchase of a new Mack truck for the Public Works Department.
That front-loader garbage truck will cost $226,262, which will come from the Town's capital budget, Peters said. It is expected to be available in approximately 30 to 45 days.
SUPPORT FOR PROPOSAL
Official action was not taken on Reynolds' request for bins to be placed inside the town limits, since the item was on the agenda as a presentation only.
Mayor W.T. Daniels indicated, however, that the Town is open to moving forward with the proposal.
"We are interested in providing this service," Mayor Daniels said.
"It's just logistics. We need to work it out. I think everyone's comfortable with moving forward," he added.