Norris looks to restart glass recycling

Norris officials are looking to restart the collection of glass for recycling if a plan by the city of Maryville for reuse of the glass comes to fruition, the City Council was told Monday night.

Most glass recycling efforts ceased throughout East Tennessee about two years ago after recyclers no longer had a market for it, and since then, Norris residents have been told just to throw away glass with their regular garbage.

But Norris City Manager Scott Hackler told the council that Maryville is planning to open a facility to crush discarded glass and recycle it by using it in areas where dirt fill is needed, and as a component of pavement.

Hackler said the Maryville facility would be able to take glass of all kinds. Right now, Norris residents have a weekly pickup of recycled material that includes aluminum and other metal cans, paper, corrugated cardboard, and several types of plastic containers and their caps.

The city also operates a recycling drop-off site just off East Norris Road next to the city maintenance yard and animal shelter that accepts corrugated cardboard and used oil.

Hackler also suggested Monday night that the city might want to stop accepting cardboard at that site, and redirect people with cardboard to the new Anderson County solid waste convenience center that opened in December less than a half-mile from the city’s drop-off site. It’s on Norris Freeway (U.S. 441) just south of Andersonville Highway, and it accepts most cardboard r for recycling.

Glass is now not accepted for recycling anywhere in Anderson County, said Geoff Trabalka, county director of solid waste disposal.

“There’s no market for glass,” Trabalka said. “I don’t see that changing anytime soon unless a bottle manufacturer moves into the area. The closest place that takes recycled glass now is on the other side of Nashville, and it’s too expensive to haul it that far.”

That could change, though, if Maryville opens its own glass recycling facility, Hackler said.

In other council business Monday:

• Dairy Pond Road will be repaved during the coming fiscal year, with repaving of most of the rest of the city’s streets being delayed until possibly the following year, when the city will come up with a plan to finance the work, officials said.

• The city is accepting bids on the East Norris Sidewalk Project, which is being funded by a state grant.

The work to rehabilitate the sidewalks must be completed by November under terms of the grant, Hackler said.

• Norris is still waiting for approval of a grant for the Safe Routes to School project, which includes sidewalk and road-crossing improvements for kids walking to and from school.

That grant is expected to be OK’d soon, and that work finished by the end of August, Hackler said.

• The Tennessee Department of Transportation is expected to complete survey work this month on the planned extension of Sawmill Road, Hackler said. The road is to be extended to a point on Norris Freeway near the Covenant Life Church, creating a new entrance to the city.