New convenience center on Norris Freeway to open Friday

The new, larger Anderson County solid-waste convenience center off U.S. 441/Norris Freeway in Norris will open Friday, Dec. 20, the county announced this week.

“If all goes according to plan, we will be moving the [trash compacting] equipment from the current site on Thursday, and open at the new site on Friday morning,” said Geoff Trabalka, solid-waste coordinator for the Anderson County Office of Planning and Development

But if there are problems installing and connecting the equipment to power at the new site, the opening could be delayed, he said.

During the move, “We will be leaving an open-top Dumpster at the old site temporarily so people will still have some place to dump their trash,” Trabalka said.

The new facility replaces the Glen Alpine Convenience Center on Sinking Springs Road. The new location is 3065 Norris Freeway, which is just south of Andersonville Highway, and on the east side of Norris Freeway.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has widened and re-striped Norris Freeway at the entrance to the site to provide a dedicated left-turn lane for traffic entering the convenience center from the north.

Trabalka said the plan was to have the new center open last month, but there were delays in finishing the work there, including wiring the pads to accommodate the trash compactors.

“Citizens are advised that, as this is a new address, their GPS devices may not accurately pinpoint the new location,” Trabalka said in a news release sent out late last week.

“Once a new, permanent sign is installed at the new location and planned landscaping is completed, an official ribbon cutting will be scheduled to recognize the many individuals and organizations who have helped develop the new facility,” the release noted.

The $670,000 project, which includes $375,000 for the 17-acre site, and will operate at the same hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, Trabalka said.

Project manager Version Davis, who supervised the work at the site, said Anderson County jail prisoners were among those who helped build the new center.

The new convenience center will be a vast improvement over the current one, which sits on less than a half-acre and has room for just a few vehicles at a time, Trabalka said. Often, traffic waiting to enter that site is backed up along Sinking Springs Road.

“Essentially it will have the same equipment, but the site will be nicer and newer, and more convenient,” Trabalka said. “I don’t believe there will be any traffic backing up on the highway. I’m sure it’s going to be really nice.”

Money for the new center came from the county general fund and the solid-waste reserve fund, Trabalka said.

Because the convenience center will take only about seven acres of the property the county purchased, the rest of the land will be sold and that money will be used to reduce the overall cost of the project, he said.

Just as with the present center, the new location will accept household garbage; some recycling, such as paper, cardboard and some plastic (but no Styrofoam or garbage bags), as well as aluminum cans and steel food cans, Trabalka said. It will not take glass for recycling, but glass can be dumped with household trash.

“We also will have an open-top container for bulk items, such as couches, mattresses and so forth,” he said. “Still not allowed will be tires, paint, auto batteries, or anything with freon – such as refrigerators, air-conditioning units, dehumidifiers.”

There will always be an attendant on site when the center is open, provided by contractor Waste Connections of Knoxville, Trabalka said.