Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

March 4, 2014

County eyes increased recycling with new program

CROSSVILLE — The new single-stream recycling program is up and running at the Cumberland County Recycling Center.

All of the new equipment and line has been installed and the county recently began operating the new line.

"I think we're going to be able to do a lot of good with this line and save the county a lot of money in the long run," Mike Harvel, Cumberland County Recycling Center assistant director, said.

Harvel is also a 7th District Cumberland County commissioner.

The single-stream recycling program is a system in which all recyclables, including newspaper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, junk mail and steel cans, are placed into one single bin or bag.

County residents are being encouraged to put all of their recyclable items into one box, or paper bags, and take them either to their convenience centers, which are operated by the county, or to bring them to the Cumberland County Recycling Center.

The items are then dumped into a loading dock area and then sorted and separated on a conveyor belt by county employees and community service workers. The items are then sold in bulk to recycling companies by the county.

Since the closing of the counties landfill last year, the county has had to pay tipping fees to a third party company that operates a transfer station.

The new single stream system will help reduce tipping fees the county has to pay and save landfill space, according to Harvel.

Currently the county is only handling its own recyclable materials, but Harvel and Cumberland County Solid Waste Director Tom Breeden and Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. are also working on partnerships with the city of Crossville, Fairfield Glade and other communities to have them implement recycling programs and bring their recyclables to the recycling center.

"We're working on doing that eventually, but that may be a little while. We still have to install another scale area before we can do that," Harvel said.

The Cumberland County Recycling Center eventually will work as a hub in Crossville.

Harvel said, "It's important that people understand we're not talking about household garbage. This is just for recyclables."

He further explained at this point the county only has a market for number one and number two plastic containers, such as clear plastic bottles and milk containers, steel cans and aluminum, newspaper, junk mail and cardboard.

"Any and all of those items can be thrown in together into one bin and we will separate them here," Harvel said. "We don't take number three, four, five, six or seven plastic or glass in the single-stream line."

The recycling center does take glass, but that's separate from the single-stream line.

Harvel said eventually the recycling center plans to organize and offer classes about the single-stream recycling process to the public.

"Right now, we've just got this started and we've got some more things to get worked out, but once we do, it's going to be a great program," Harvel said.

Cumberland County was awarded grants from the state totaling more than $300,000 last year to implement the single-stream recycling line.

Harvel said if anyone has any questions about the single-stream recycling program, or process, they can call the recycling center office between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Cumberland County Recycling Center is at 96 Maryetta St. in Crossville, just off Hwy. 70 N.

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