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Nashville Sings A New Tune About Recycling

There’s a new song in the south, and for Nashville, it’s called Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

According to the Nashville Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, Mayor Karl Dean wants to turn Music City into the most sustainable city in the Southeast.

The initiative started in 2008, when Dean gathered a Green Ribbon Panel, which proposed 16 goals and 71 recommendations for Nashville, all intended to make the city a greener and more profitable place.

Implementation of the new plan began in 2010.  The first change to Nashville’s waste collection system came in the for of a requirement that all leaves and grass clippings be placed in biodegradable paper bags for collection.  By July 2011, the city was requiring residents to take yard waste to the curb, and all yard waste was banned from solid waste collection.  These changes were the first substantive changes to the city’s waste collection system in more than 50 years.

But Music City hasn’t just been singing back-up.  Recommendations by the Green Ribbon Panel go out for another 5 years.  And by 2015, the city expects to have  banned all electronic waste and cardboard from municipal waste streams, as well as implementing a pay-as-you-throw plan for all residents.

The city has also implemented rigorous school programs that provide both education about recycling and composting as well as an opportunity for students to help their school recycle.  The programs have been successful in another way as well.  It has offered an opportunity for members of the community to see the immediate effects of recycling, which had boosted participation.

Nashville also has a neighborhood recycling program that targets what it calls  “fragile” areas — lower income neighborhoods where the community might not feel quite as invested in sustainability initiatives.

By 2009, Nashville had already reduced the amount of waste going to landfills by 30 percent.  With new programs to further reduce waste coming on-line each year, Music City is headed toward a brighter, greener future.  Oh, what a happy tune that is!

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.


One thought on “Nashville Sings A New Tune About Recycling

  1. We’ll all be singing Nashville’s praises on its recycling/environmental protection policies.

    Posted by Autumn Jeffcoat | October 14, 2011, 2:48 pm

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