Recycling used to be harder than it is today as the rules were always changing (Glossy paper, yes or no? Yes. Old pizza box, yes or no? No.), and getting everything into your car to haul it somewhere was sometimes a chore that tended to stack up until it was overwhelming. At that point, some would just put it in the trash and think, I tried. Next time. Luckily, much of Nashville enjoys monthly curbside recycling, which began in 1991 and has had a few reincarnations along the way to get it to where it is today. But, those of us who have curbside recycling know all too well that glass is not included, which is a pain point. Today, we’re showcasing two options that make recycling super easy so that you can feel better about the footprint (or lack thereof) you are leaving on this earth. These options are applicable to Nashville residents and many who live just outside of Nashville as well. Both companies add much-appreciated convenience in the ongoing quest to be green.
First off: Justice Industries
As just mentioned, Metro Nashville’s curbside recycling program does not include glass, and I raise my hand that I was one of those people who drove around with glass bottles in the trunk of my car for days, weeks … I won’t admit to beyond that! And, I know that I am not alone in my less-than-stellar performance when it comes to glass recycling. Enter Justice Industries. This non-profit will pick up glass directly from your house twice a month for just $14. AND, it gets better. “Just.Glass [the glass recycling division of Justice Industries] is a curbside glass recycling program that employs people who are working hard to break the cycle of unemployment and poverty,” according to justiceindustries.org. They currently have 10 part-time employees and service 393 households. A win-win!
Go online to Justice Industries, sign up with your credit card, and you will receive an email letting you know what your pickup days will be (check your spam as mine went there and I missed my first few pickups!). For example, they come to my house the first and third Wednesday of the month. Just put your first assortment of glass in any box you have and place it in a visible location near your front door. When they pick it up, they will drop off a large plastic container for you to use in the future. As you use glass, just rinse, remove corks, tops, candle wax, etc., and place it in the bin. Justice Industries will be by twice a month to pick it up.
See? Super easy. Less time than driving to the recycling center, and no excuses for running out of time.
Justice Industries serves a large part of Nashville and Williamson County including ZIP codes: 37027, 37201, 37203, 37204, 37205, 37206, 37207, 37208, 37209, 37210, 37211, 37212, 37215, 37216, 37219, 37220, and 37221. Don’t see your ZIP code? It’s okay; let Justice Industries know where you live, and they will contact you as soon as they start servicing your area! Check them out: justiceindustries.org
Next up: Compost Nashville
I found out about Compost Nashville through my business partner, Elizabeth Fox. Elizabeth and her husband take recycling seriously, and this compost service is one that I just signed up for, through their recommendation. How does it work? Compost Nashville delivers a 5-gallon plastic container to your home. Then, they come and pick it up each week and drop off another clean, plastic container. Easy, peasy. You can pay for more buckets if you have a large family. Remember that pizza box that I mentioned at the beginning of this article and how it can’t be recycled? Well, it can be composted! Other items that can be composted are listed on their website and include:
- fruits & vegetables
- coffee grounds, coffee filters & tea bags
- dairy products & egg shells
- meat, shellfish, fish products
- pasta, breads, cereals & baked goods
- leftovers from cooked meals
- baking ingredients, spices, herbs
- candy, snack food, pastries, etc.
- soiled napkins, paper towels, toilet paper rolls, cotton balls
- paper plates & cups (even those with wax coating)
- pizza boxes (please tear to fit)
- paper egg cartons, paper cupcake liners & other paper food packaging
- cut flowers & household plants
- dryer lint (not dryer sheets)
- hair & nail clippings
- pet food & pet hair
- anything labeled BPI Certified Compostable or ASTM D6400
WOW! Right? Oh wait — it gets better! Compost Nashville takes all your compost waste and makes it into beautiful, nutrient-rich compost soil and delivers it to your house twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring. If you don’t have a garden, your compost will be donated to a local farm, community garden or organization. All of this costs just $35 a month and $10 more if you need another 5-gallon bucket. Compost Nashville also works with commercial businesses needing up to 65-gallons a week picked up. As of publishing this article, they have diverted 426,739 pounds of food from local landfills!
“We can put almost everything in the bin. It is picked up religiously every week, which for us is on Tuesdays — even on the 4th of July. We pay a monthly fee and receive two buckets of compost a year for our garden. This reduces garbage dramatically as we recycle glass and use metro recycling bins. We have almost no trash now!” — Elizabeth Fox
Compost Nashville, which started in 2014, is currently servicing 250 homes and 35 businesses in areas of Nashville from Bellevue to Inglewood and expanding into Brentwood any day. But, they are growing where demand is, so if you want Compost Nashville to service your neighborhood and they currently do not, let them know … they may start ASAP with enough response! For more information, check out: compostnashville.org.
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