Blue recycle bins

The city of Franklin's blue bins are being assembled and nearing time for delivery to residents. 

Franklin residents can expect to see blue recycling bins on the streets as early as next week as the city’s Sanitation and Environmental Services Department rolls out its new program that will ultimately replace the blue recycling bag method that was introduced nearly 10 years ago.

For several months now, citizens living in the Franklin city limits have had the opportunity to preregister for the 64-gallon carts that will hold most of the same materials that have been placed in the blue bags for weekly pickup.

Approximately 8,400 residents have signed up, agreeing to pay a fee of $4 a month for the first year at a one-time total cost of $48.

Franklin aldermen approved the change last spring, and the city set a goal to have 10,000 residents participating within the first year of the campaign. The delivery of carts begins the first full week of January, according to Jack Tucker, director of Sanitation and Environmental Services.

“We think that will be a six- to eight-week delivery process because we have to assemble them and deliver them with our crews here,” Tucker said. “We had a goal of getting 10,000 registered. We’re nearing that goal. 

“For a voluntary program, we’re doing very well, and we expect a second surge when people who maybe just hadn’t gotten around to registering start seeing their neighbors getting the carts. So I fully expect to see us reach that goal of 10,000, maybe even higher.”

Just as residents are now doing with the 96-gallon black cart for solid waste pickup, they’ll haul the blue bin to the curb for the process of automated curbside recycling.

According to a schedule released by the city, residents who registered before Dec. 15 will get their carts during the first phase of the rollout. Those who registered after Dec. 15 will receive theirs after phase 1 is complete.

In addition, for deliveries in the first phase of the program:

  • Residents whose garbage is collected on Monday will be Jan. 6-25
  • Residents whose garbage is collected on Tuesday will be Jan. 27-Feb. 15
  • Residents whose garbage is collected on Wednesday will be Feb. 17-March 7
  • Residents whose garbage is collected on Thursday will be March 9-28

With a couple of exceptions, residents can recycle the same materials as they had done in the blue bags. However, plastics are now limited to Nos. 1 and 2, which are basically those with a neck. As before, no glass is allowed. 

And while residents often placed large cardboard pieces on the ground to be picked up, those will now need to be placed inside the blue bin. If it’s too large for the bin, it can be taken to one of the Williamson County convenience centers.

The city of Franklin will continue to haul recycled product to a processor in Marshall County at no charge. The city has formed a good relationship with the company, which sells the materials at a profit. The cleaner the products recycled, the better, Tucker said. 

“We’re focusing heavily on education and keeping it simple,” he said. “The problem with recycling [across the country], … is a lot of programs just came about as pilot programs without a lot of emphasis on education, so there has been a lot of contamination in recycling.

“Franklin does a great job. The last time we did a waste audit, we had maybe 7% contamination. Most cities will have double digits in contamination. We have a good product, and we’re just trying to get it even better.”

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