Metro Nashville Council approved an ordinance May 5 to renew the city's curbside recycling program for five years.

As part of the new agreement, which is an extension of the 10-year contract with Waste Management approved by Metro Council in 2015, the city will pay an immediate one-time fee of $1 million. The city will also pay higher fees for the processing and transportation of recyclables, according to the ordinance’s fiscal notes.

Metro Nashville Public Works, which was slated to increase recycling from once per month to every two weeks beginning in February, announced in January that it would “temporarily delay” the expanded program due to budget concerns.

The city’s curbside recycling program currently costs $2.2 million a year and would increase by $50,000 for each additional monthly collection, city officials said.

"This contract only pays for [curbside pickup] once a month," At-large Council Member Bob Mendes said at the meeting. "The game plan had originally been to go to twice a month, but that's not happening. It's not in the cards.”

Although some members raised concerns about the cost of the program, the council approved the ordinance 36-3.

“In 2020, it’s important for a major metropolitan city to be looked at around the world as an example simply to have a very basic recycling service,” District 8 Council Member Nancy VanReece said. “Anything opposite of that is disappointing and unacceptable.”

How Nashville residents recycle

In addition to curbside recycling, which is available only to residents in the city's Urban Services District, residents can recycle at the city's drop-off sites and convenience centers. These sites accept all curbside recycling materials as well as glass.

Source: Metro Nashville Public Works/Community Impact Newspaper