Updates on Chattanooga’s recycling scene: September 2021

What you need to know about the current recycling service in Chattanooga | Photo by Julia M Cameron via Pexels

From Sept. 6-10, the City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works is issuing a single curbside recycling collection on an emergency basis. Let’s break down the what, why, and where of Chattanooga’s current recycling situation. 

♻️ What does this mean?

  • Recycling will be picked up 1 time in the next week in an effort to collect residents’ recycling that accumulated during the suspension of curbside recycling.
  • On your normal garbage collection day, bring both your garbage + recycling carts to the curb before 7 a.m. — both will be picked up.
  • These materials will not be recycled — they will go in the trash alongside the contents of your garbage can: “many residents’ bins have…been sitting outside in the weather for several weeks now — rendering the material inside too poor a quality for a second life in the recycling aftermarket.” — City spokeswoman Mary Beth Ikard
  • According to Ikard, this solution is primarily to help citizens who are unable to take their recycling to 1 of the city’s 5 recycling drop-offs.

♻️ Wait, why is this happening?

  • In late July, the City of Chattanooga announced that it would be suspending curbside recycling due to a shortage of truck drivers.
  • In order to get more drivers, Mayor Kelly’s proposed budget includes an average starting pay increase of 42.6% for garbage and recycle drivers.
  • Chattanooga Public Works says it plans to resume the curbside service during the month of October.

♻️ What to do now?

Until curbside recycling is resumed, you can purchase services from private providers like Scenic City Recycling + use your city recycling carts for that purpose. You can also collect your recycling as normal + take it to 1 of the city’s 5 recycling center drop-off locations:

  • 5955 Brainerd Rd.
  • 1250 E. 3rd St.
  • 3189 Cummings Hwy.
  • 8004 Batters Place Rd.
  • 4504 N. Access Rd.