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November is Recycling Month in Macon County

The Macon County Recycling Program is administered by the Macon County Solid Waste Department. This department has made great efforts to increase recycling and waste reduction county- wide during the past 19 years, accomplishing an 83% recycling and waste reduction rate in the state while at the same time maintaining low solid waste cost per capita. 


The Macon County Solid Waste Department has developed many new additions to the county recycling programs over the years, including  a school recycling program with all seven schools,  several convenient public recycling drop-off sites,  recycling at sporting events and public community events,  recycling of certain problem wastes, an electronic recycling program,  a metal recycling program,  a fluorescent bulb recycling program, created an annual public awareness campaign, improved the appliance recycling program and waste tire recycling program, implemented a paint collection program,  offers recycling assistance to businesses/ industry and most recently constructed a Recycling Center  for sorting and baling certain recyclable materials. A new loading dock was completed this year to accommodate loading tractor trailer trucks for transporting the recycling materials to the mills for processing.

The public drop-off sites for recycling and the school recycling program collects paper, plastics, cardboard, tin cans, and aluminum cans for baling in the Recycling Center.  There is no utilization charge to use these.  The Transfer Station collects metal, appliances, tires, electronics, antifreeze, lead acid batteries, rechargeable batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and paint. There is a minimal charge for collecting these items. These are sent to various resources for recycling. 

The Recycling Drop-off Sites can easily be recognized with the large red containers for collections and are located throughout the county at these areas:  Westside on Hwy 52; Hardees on Hwy 52 By-Pass (2 Containers); Career Center (5 containers) on Hwy 52 By-Pass;  Hillwood RBS on Hwy 52; and at the Macon County Transfer Station on Heady Ridge Road in Red Boiling Springs.  The containers are labeled, showing what is acceptable and not acceptable. We accept newspaper, mixed paper, magazines, books, plastics #1 and #2, aluminum cans, tin food cans, and cardboard.  Please look for the triangle logo on the bottom of plastic containers.  We ask that you do not put trash items or other non-recyclable materials in the recycling bins.  For instance, plastic swimming pools, plastic ice coolers, plastic lawn chairs, plastics #5 or plastics #7 are not recyclable.  Disposing of your trash in recycling bins is absolutely prohibited. 

Why is it important to only put items that can be recycled in the recycling bin? Putting items in the recycling bin that can’t be recycled can contaminate the recycling stream. After these unrecyclable items arrive at recycling centers, they can cause costly damage to the equipment. Additionally, after arriving at recycling centers, they must be sorted out by hand and then sent to landfills, which raises costs for the facility. That is why it is important to only put acceptable items into the collection containers. 

Recycled materials have value and contribute to the economic well-being of all Tennesseans. Recycling promotes and sustains jobs, and adds to the revenue of local government departments through the sale of collected commodities. Recycling further enhances the personal wealth of all Tennesseans through cost avoidance of landfill tipping fee charges. Ultimately, it also protects the environment by keeping the materials out of the landfill. The cycle continues when consumers purchase products and packaging with recycled content.    

November has been proclaimed as Recycling Month in Macon County in connection with America Recycles Day on November 15, 2020.  America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. The Macon County Solid Waste Department sponsors an annual Recycling Awareness Campaign during the month of November which helps to raise awareness and change people’s behavior to recycle more. The Teamwork of the Macon County Solid Waste Department employees has been essential to a successful program.  Dedicated employees of the Solid Waste Department. are: Chuck McLerran, James “Red” Akers, Anthony Knight, Colin Morris, Phillip Terry, Mike Forkum and Debbie Richardson, Director.  It takes a community working together to achieve good things.

The Macon County Solid Waste Department has purchased several pieces of new equipment and made improvements to our Department this year to help in our daily work of managing the waste and recycling.  We appreciate the support of our Macon County Mayor Steve Jones and all of the Macon County Commissioners in giving Macon County a successful Solid Waste and Recycling Department. 

For information on recycling with your household or business, or information about waste that can be disposed at the Transfer Station, visit the county web site at, (click on Visitors, departments, solid waste) or call the Macon County Solid Waste Dept. at 615-699-3707.