Kingsport, Tenn. - Think of it as spring cleaning on a huge scale! That's what folks in Kingsport are getting a chance to do.
For a couple of decades now the city of Kingsport has set aside two weeks to help their citizens clean up and recycle. For the next couple of weeks, people can pile up stuff on the curb and have it picked up for free.
About as close to a community waste stream as many of us get is that can we put out to the street each week. But add up all the contents of all those cans and cans of garbage and they turn into tons of garbage.
In the spring that total can double in the city of Kingsport during their clean up, pick up and recycle event, a two-week period when residents can put out extra items for pick up. "Items where they're cleaning out their garage, they're cleaning out their basement, yard work, brush, tree limbs, even leaves. They're doing leaf collection during this period and you put that out curbside and it's pickup by the city public works department," Robin Cleary with Keep Kingsport Beautiful said.
The C-P-R week as they call it has been going on for 20 to 25 years and generates twice as much pick up during the period.
"Anywhere from 500 tons of garbage and about 700 tons of trash during these two weeks," Says Rodney Deel the sanitatioin supervisor.
And with the increase in trash comes more work, but the city gets help from within and from corporate citizens. "These two weeks are a bit more than what we can handle with our regular crew so we enlist the help of streets and they give us a driver and a helper and pick-up trucks to collect the stuff beside the cans that the automated trucks can't get," collection foreman Chris Bentley said.
"This year we have Eastman Chemical Company, BAE systems, and Domtar that are all providing a truck and a driver to help out during this two week period," Cleary added.
When a lot of what is collected gets to the landfill and transfer station, it is separated. The brush gets recycled and so do the leaves. The old appliances are picked up by a recycling company; tires too are recycled and that's besides what residents recycle.
The more that can be reused and recycled saves money and space in the landfill.