KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Submitted) -- Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has announced a new recycling program for the City’s parks and greenways, as well as a revamped park waste management system.
The City has purchased 430 new waste receptacles, half of which will be used for recycling while the other half will replace the City’s green trash barrels. The barrels being retired have been in service for decades.
Total cost for the initiative was approximately $27,000, funded as a City capital project.
When the time came to replace the Public Service Department truck that collects trash from the parks, Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh and Public Service Director David Brace teamed to upgrade the existing trash containers and to initiate the park recycling program — as well as to redraw more efficient routes for waste pickup crews.
“Between passive park users and organized sports, the amount of plastics disposed of in our parks is substantial,” Walsh said. “Through the hard work of the Public Service Department — and through active recycling participation from park visitors — we will be able to significantly reduce the amount of waste that winds up at the landfill.”
The Solid Waste Office oversaw the project, enlisting two of the City’s AmeriCorps workers to conduct an inventory of waste operations and collections in parks. Through this evaluation, the project team was able to determine more efficient routes for service crews.
“This new program won’t just save time through more efficient routes,” Brace said. “Because the old trash barrels had no lids, high winds often created cleanup time for our crews when the trash has been blown out. This project is a win-win for everyone.”
The Public Service Department is currently in the process of installing the new cans with mechanisms to secure them in the City’s 60 parks. Installation is expected to be complete by May.