Businesses who utilized a free pick up service provided by UT Recycles! were left without that service as of Aug. 1. With that change, Barker Bros. has launched a city-wide effort to sign on businesses for recycle container pick-up.
Businesses now have options, one that requires dropping off their recyclables or paying for a pick-up service.
The UT Martin Recycling Facility’s commitment to the environment prompted it to provide free recycling pickup to numerous community businesses in the past, but because of budget restraints, the facility will no longer be able to offer pickup service. The facility does, however still encourage community recycling drop-off.
“UTM continues to recycle. We’re not slowing down; we’re just going a different route,” said Tim Nipp, UT Martin director of physical plant operations.
Currently the recycling program is funded in part by the university’s custodial and recycling budgets and is responsible for keeping 600 tons of waste out of landfills. The program utilizes two full-time employees to pickup material around the UT Martin campus 5-6 days per week and recently funded a full-time recycling coordinator.
The program also uses work-study students, volunteers and student labor, all of which are funded from the custodial budget. The custodial staff and student workers also have some recycling duties.
Because of custodial services demands on the UT Martin campus, and the university’s responsibility to education and tax funding, the expanded services off campus cannot continue with existing resources, Nipp explained.
Barker Bros., of Republic Services Recycling, is trying to “pick up” that service of picking up recyclables from businesses.
The cost for weekly pick-up of an 8-yard dumpster is $60.50 a month for businesses. The billing is handled through city hall in Martin.
UT Recycles! still accepts recyclables and until the City of Martin signs on to a residential pick-up service, residents opting to go green can drop off recyclables at the UT Martin recycle facility.
According to a summary of expenditures for the business recycle program at UT Martin, 41 businesses were participating in the pick up before that service was halted at an estimated cost just of over $46,000.
The net cost included the mileage and personnel costs, as well as revenues generated.
“We believe the University has a role to play modeling responsible recycling and sustainability initiatives serving the campus and community, said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor.
The recycle facility also adjusted its drop-off hours. Staff members will provide assistance for unloading materials brought to its facility.
The Recycling Facility is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday, 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Materials do not have to be sorted, but Nipp and Davis said that dropping off material in trash bags is preferred.
The facility accepts paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastics, steel cans and other scrap metal, eye glasses, used clothing in good condition, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, ink cartridges, and any electronic appliances except televisions. It does not accept Styrofoam.
Barker Bros. will also accept the same recyclable items, which do not have to be sorted. Businesses are asked to call Martin City Hall at 587-3126 to sign up for the pick-up program offered through Barker Bros.
Businesses can share the cost of one container and billing can be split for that purpose.