After Years Of Hoping, Nashville Will Increase Curbside Recycling | Nashville Public Radio

After Years Of Hoping, Nashville Will Increase Curbside Recycling

Feb 11, 2019

One of Nashville’s longstanding wishlist items is finally becoming a reality. Starting next year, curbside recycling will increase in frequency to every-other-week pickups.

A key change is that after about a decade of unsuccessful funding requests, the money is finally becoming available. It includes a mix of city dollars and outside grants — plus a $2.3 million state grant that Metro secured this month.

“It’s something that we’ve wanted for a long time,” said Kelly Tipler, with Metro Public Works. “And, unfortunately, it hasn’t been in the budget … [but] this year, Mayor Briley has made it a pretty big priority.”

Tipler said residents have been desperate for more pickups. When recycling carts fill — or don’t get rolled to the curb on the right day — stuff ends up in the trash.

The change will take until early 2020 to rollout, as Metro buys 16 extra trucks and hires another 13 staffers. But, starting then, the roughly 140,000 customers in the urban services district can expect more attention, said Sharon Smith, also with Public Works.

“This impacts a massive amount of Davidson County residents,” Smith said. “People are super excited.”

In exchange, Metro is hoping people get better at recycling — specifically, that residents stop cramming their materials into plastic bags, which jam up the city’s machines.

With that in mind, the city has been answering resident questions and offering free presentations.

And Metro has been sending an auditor through Nashville alleyways to peek into recycling bins, leaving behind little notes with advice for those who make mistakes.