From the time William H. Henderson settled in the area we now call Hendersonville (circa 1790), the area has been undergoing change. From the first native villages to today’s modern neighborhoods, there has been change. One of the most damaging impacts of this change has come in the form of waste left behind for the next generation to deal with.
Hendersonville was once a large farming community. More than 50 percent of Hendersonville residents were employed in agriculture, prior to the 1950’s. Garbage wasn’t nearly the problem 50-100 years ago as it is today. Most waste was organic, bio-degradable or reused for another purpose.
It wasn’t until post WWII that Hendersonville and many other U.S. communities began using plastics daily in households. Today, we seem to be overwhelmed with plastic and cardboard. The petroleum industry has made billions of dollars from American consumers by producing a prodigious amount of plastic, without any plan on the back end to gather and recycle it. Plastic can have a half-life of 500+ years. That means your household plastic (milk jug, detergent bottle, water bottle, etc.) could be around for as much as 1,000 years.
In an effort to protect the local environment and offer sustainable practices for future generations, Green Village Recycling started as a curbside recycling service for all Hendersonville residents and businesses in April 2010. For the past 10 years, Green Village has been the only locally owned and operated recycling provider in Hendersonville.
We do not landfill materials ever. Our materials processing vendors are hand selected, verified and monitored to insure 100 percent recycling guarantee of materials that we take to them. Regardless of news about China not accepting U.S. contaminated recycling materials, most of what we collect for recycling, stays within the southeast region of the United States. Keep it local and save fuel, labor, time and money to recycle.
Green Village Recycling opened and operated a recycling drop off center in Hendersonville in 2014-2018 at no cost to the city. It diverted approximately 20-30 tons of waste from landfill to recycle monthly for nearly four years.
Green Village Recycling recommended the Recycling Pilot Program to the city of Hendersonville in 2016. Our company worked with city public works leaders and staff to identify the best neighborhoods in each ward to offer a “test program” for recycling. The goal was a 6-12 months initiative that would end and yield measurable results for the city leaders to determine the viability of a future city wide recycling program. The Pilot Program was put out for bid with a Request for Proposal. There were only two companies that bid. Republic Waste (incumbent Waste Company for city of Hendersonville) and Green Village Recycling. The lowest bid won the service contract and that was Republic Waste Services. So, in November of 2017 the Hendersonville recycling pilot program began.
In July of 2019, the city began waste collection service with a new company provider. In the same month, Green Village Recycling was awarded an extension of the Recycling Pilot program contract, on July 3. By July 10, Green Village Recycling began servicing the 800+ Households in a six-eighborhood area. On Oct. 22, the Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Alderman voted to end the program funding.
There has been a request for proposal for city wide-recycling. Three companies have submitted bids to the city for recycling services. The future of city wide recycling is currently being discussed by city leaders. In addition a Waste & Recycling Committee has been established to help review and recommend plans moving forward.
Green Village Recycling is proud to be a local small business, helping to affect change in this beautiful city. We are confident that the city residents and city leaders will come to the right conclusion to offer a city wide recycling program. We must work together to reduce our waste output. With the volume of household waste increasing from Internet sales worldwide, we are facing a greater problem with waste than ever.
Our time in this world may be limited. But, the legacy we leave behind in waste may last for lifetimes to come. Good stewardship has a cost. This should never be political.
This article was originally published at https://www.hendersonvillestandard.com/opinion/columnists/the-truth-about-recycling-in-hendersonville/article_ab1c773c-fb89-11e9-828f-87c5f48d9af8.html