CurbsideRecyclingClark Ringgold

Ringgold City Councilwoman Sara Clark details plans to add curbside pickup to the city’s recycling program during the Aug. 13 Council meeting. / Adam Cook

After a few months of discussion and gathering feedback from residents, the city of Ringgold is looking to add curbside pickup to its recycling plan.

The city opened up its downtown recycling drop-off center approximately a year and a half ago, and is now looking to offer more convenience to residents and businesses by offering the curbside option.

Over the past couple of months, residents have had to opportunity to answer a survey related to their interest in the idea, and during the Aug. 13 City Council meeting the board approved moving forward with a curbside rollout plan.

“We got the final totals back from the online survey and paper surveys that were given out at recycling center and City Hall,” City Manager Dan Wright said. “I think the most interesting thing is question one; ‘are you willing to pay a small fee of $5?’ We had 125 yeses and 23 nos.”

When asked about the preference of curbside or drop-off, 99 people were in favor of curbside and 28 for drop off. Three people voted for neither option.

Councilwoman Sara Clark, who has been a big supporter of the recycling effort, says the plan will include a deposit and a small monthly fee.

“The cost of the can would be $25 for big recycling cans like the size of a garbage can, and then a $5 per month charge if you decide to do curbside recycling,” Clark said.

With curbside coming into the fold, the big downtown container would be removed, and smaller containers would be available around town in certain areas.

“For those that can’t afford or do not with to do curbside, then we wanted to maintain recycling containers, but what we decided was instead of one central location, we would put recycling only containers in strategic spots around the city,” Clark explained. “In other words, at the Depot where we already have garbage containers, or at City Hall where we already have garbage containers. We would have them there for people who liked that system better or did not want to do curbside.”

The start date and how often pickup would occur has not been finalized, but the board did unanimously approve moving forward with the outlined changes to the program.

“It’s more of an experimental program,” Clark said. “We’re going to see if it works. We think it will and we really hope that it will. It’s a $25 deposit on the can and a $5 per month charge and we would also continue to have drop off places at strategic places around the city.”

Over the past year and a half, numerous residents and businesses have utilized the lone recycling container. With the new planned format, Councilman Larry Black hopes to see more people take advantage of the opportunity to recycle.

“We would like to see this program grow,” Black said. “We’re hoping once we kick this off that we will see a lot more of our city residents take part in this program.”

Mayor Nick Millwood says he and his family have utilized the existing center, but that he’s looking forward to being able to recycle from home.

“I know my daughters were always excited to go for the golf cart ride down to the recycling center to drop the stuff of, and now we’re able to do it at home much more conveniently,” Millwood said. “It sets a good example for them, it’s a good face to put forward for the city, and I’m very excited that we’re doing it.”

Clark and Wright said more information about the rollout of the new plan would be advertised around town as it approaches.

Anyone with additional questions or concerns can contact Ringgold City Hall at 706-935-3061.