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Recycle? Who recycles?


Farragut’s Mayor and Aldermen copped to just how much they do — or don’t — recycle at a Board meeting Thursday, Aug. 12.

“Farragut is not recycling quite as much as the U.S. average,” recycle committee spokesman Tom Rosseel said during a presentation to the Board.

The average U.S. rate of recycling per household is 33 percent. Farragut households average is between 20 and 25 percent.

Tennesseeans also generate more waste than the average U.S. citizen. The U.S. average is four-and-a-half pounds per person per day; the Tennessee average is six pounds per person per day.


“So we can see Tennessee and probably Farragut is recycling less and producing more trash,” Rosseel, also a former Town alderman, said.

He asked Board members if they recycled and what they thought of the recycling opportunities currently available in the Town.

“When we’re recycling aggressively and composting aggressively, our trash just goes away,” Alderman John Williams said.

“It’s stunning,” he added.

Williams said the twice-monthly recycling pick-ups in his subdivision, Fox Run, are inadequate for aggressive recyclers. But he also estimated only about 10 percent of the residents in his subdivision recycle.

Alderman Jeff Elliott said his family didn’t pay for curbside single-stream recycling; they took advantage of the APR recycle lot off Kingston Pike near Sapling’s.

“I have my kids do it,” he said with a laugh.

Mayor Ralph McGill said he’d seen a marked difference in his home’s trash production since he’d begun recycling.

“Our regular garbage can — you used to not be able to close the lid. But now there’s nothing in it,” he said.

Alderman Bob Markli said, “We’re working on it.”

Rosseel pointed out Markli’s subdivision, Smithfield, has the lowest rates for single-stream curbside recycling because the homeowners’ association negotiated their contract as a whole subdivision.

Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said she didn’t recycle either, jokingly calling herself “the trash lady.”

Rosseel said the recycle committee is researching ways to encourage more recycling in Farragut, perhaps by having a municipal recycle center or having the Town participate in single stream recycling as a municipality, rather than leaving it up to individual homeowners.

The key is providing education and incentives for recycling, then making it easy and simple to do, Rosseel said.

“You save money by recycling,” he added.

 

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