County officials have found a way to recycle nursery greenhouse plastic and keep it out of the landfill.
DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster says this past week the county landfill employees and nursery workers have made use of a device at the garbage collection convenience site on Highway 56 south that rolls up plastic so it can be shipped out for recycling.
Foster adds that the device works so well, he would like for the county to have one of it's own. "The University of Tennessee has some equipment and we're trying to get a grant to buy one so that the local nurseries would have it available to them as they take the plastic off of their greenhouses each spring. It rolls those sheets of plastic up and puts them in a real neat roll and you can put pressure on the machine and make the roll tighter. After you get them complete, those rolls weigh about 400 to 450 pounds. By rolling the plastic, we're keeping it from having to go into the landfill. That plastic builds almost an impermeable layer in there (landfill) that the water can't permeate down through. So we're trying to keep that out of the landfill. It also helps the nurserymen because they can roll this plastic up and get it recycled. Mark Holcomb from McMinnville, who works primarily with the nurseries, got this machine for us to look at and they're doing it(rolling plastic) in McMinnville too. We're going to try and get a grant to buy one, or have U.T. Extension get us one to where we could have it available for the nurserymen."
"As far as what we're doing right now, it looks like it's going to be about 14,000 pounds of plastic total when we get through. A trucker out of Arkansas will come and pick that up to be recycled. That benefits us at the landfill so we don't have to put that in there and it's a good thing for the environment too because it gets it recycled."