By CAROL STUART
For Brentwood Home Page
Improvements planned for the Williamson County recycling drop-off site on Wilson Pike, which collects the most recycling of any county sites, have been put on the backburner until at least next year. Nancy Zion, the county’s new solid waste director, said another similar project and others are taking priority.
By CAROL STUART
For Brentwood Home Page
A Brentwood Home Page story posted in February 2010 began like this:
By the end of 2010, Williamson County’s recycling drop off center adjacent to the Wilson Pike fire station very likely will have a new look and be more efficient — for the public who recycles tons of materials each week and the county that hauls and sells those materials.
We wondered what was up with that, since the end of 2010 has come and gone and nothing has been done. Turns out improvements planned for the Williamson County recycling drop-off site on Wilson Pike, which collects the most recycling of any county sites, have been put on the backburner until at least next year. Nancy Zion, the county’s new solid waste director, said another similar project and others are taking priority at the present.
“We have just put that off,” she said. “We’re hoping for 2012, though, for sure. … We just had some other things that took precedence over it from a time standpoint. The money is already set aside for it.
“It’s a timing issue. We’ve got some other things we have to finish before we start up that one.”
Zion declined to announce what upcoming convenience center project is taking priority because the county wasn’t ready to start work just yet. She added that the Brentwood plans will take a while to complete, and winter weather and spring rains and severe storms aren’t the best times for construction.
Plans are already approved by the City of Brentwood for the renovation at the Wilson Pike recycling drop-off site, located next to Brentwood Fire & Rescue’s Station 2, Zion said.
When the upgrades are made, the county will put in two plastic compactors and one cardboard compactor.
“You won’t need as many bins, because a 40-yard bin would be compacted down to roughly a fourth of that,” Zion said. “And it will save on the hauling costs for the taxpayers as well. That’s our primary thing, to get each one a little more efficient.”
Zion said the Wilson Pike drop-off site generated nearly 1,500 tons of recyclables in 2010, more than any of the other 10 convenience centers and one other recycling-only drop-off site in Williamson County.
“Brentwood residents are very dedicated to recycling,” Zion said.
Local environmental activist Bert Bosse, a Brentwood city commission candidate in the May election, said he wasn’t aware the project had been delayed again.
“My last recollection was the county saying the Wilson Pike location was one of the busiest, if not the busiest in the county,” Bosse said.
“As an active recycler myself, I have found the dumpsters filled or even closed on several weekends. I am disappointed in this lack of service and also because it could discourage people from recycling.”
Bosse said he would like the city take a more active role in promoting city-wide recycling and work more closely with the county to provide service to city residents. “We (Brentwood citizens) were told the newer compacting dumpsters had a much larger capacity and would save money with fewer truck trips to the county solid waste center,” he noted.
Wilson Pike Recycling
Wilson Pike Fire Station
Click here for guidelines of what you can recycle at Williamson County sites
Click here for link about Williamson Recycles, plus list of recycling items
Zion shared some problems at the drop-off site and hopes informing the public will alleviate some of the issues.
She said that often when the boxes appear full, there might be another empty box available.
“Many times people will see a full cardboard box, assume it’s the only one and leave the cardboard on the ground,” Zion said. “That’s considered littering. It also invites others to do the same thing.”
The Williamson County solid waste department then is responsible for picking up items left on the ground, she noted. Zion also wants to remind businesses that the drop-off is for residents only, and commercial recycling is not permitted.
Contamination is another problem, with some people using the bins for disposal of non-recyclables, she added. That proves costly as well as negates the recycling effort.
“The load may be rejected at our material recovery facility. If it’s rejected, the county does not get paid for the load, and we must pay to dispose of it,” Zion said.
Most residents are conscientious and are trying to do their best for the environment, she said, but some aren’t aware and make mistakes.
“We’re looking forward to it when (the renovation) does get there,” Zion said. “We’re glad that it is well used by the community. We hope to continue that.”