Nashville Trashes Glass Recycling Program For Downtown Honky Tonks | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Trashes Glass Recycling Program For Downtown Honky Tonks

Feb 1, 2019

An attempt to recycle more glass bottles in Nashville has failed, as Metro is discontinuing a pilot program that tried to capture glass from the downtown honky tonks.

Recycling glass isn’t easy for the city — it’s heavy and costly to haul. But last year, pushed by the former mayor, Metro tried to make it worthwhile.

The hope was that the critical mass at the bars — with thousands of bottles per night — would make it worth collecting, says Kelly Tipler, director of the Metro Beautification and Environment Commission.

“Unfortunately, just as it’s hard for us to recycle it, it was hard for the honky tonks to actually separate the material,” she said, “and we couldn’t in good faith dump the glass carts in to the glass truck if we knew that it was contaminated.”

Another hurdle was the design of downtown streets and alleys, which Tipler says have long been a challenge even for routine trash pickup.

Bar owners were given notice that the glass collections would cease in January. The prior system remains, with Nashville taking glass only at its drop-off centers.

But Tipler says there has been success with additional cardboard pickups, so that will continue.