Waste facility works to remove excess trash on site - WSMV Channel 4

Waste facility works to remove excess trash on site

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Bottles, cardboard boxes and soda cans are just some of what you'll find piled up high inside the Waste Management facility in East Nashville. But you'll also find it on the outside.

"Trash literally lines my ditch, our woods, and it gets on our riverbanks,” said Scott White, who works for Maim Crane Works across the street.

White said he's constantly picking up debris. Stuff is piled so high he said it blows out of the facility and onto his property.

"We recycle, and we recycle for a reason. And we're sending our stuff to a recycling facility that lets it go into the river and out in open air,” White said.

The Channel 4 I-Team went out to see it for ourselves. We found bags and newspapers, among other things, scattered everywhere, including the woods that lead down to the Cumberland River.

White said the piles never seem to get smaller and also attract bugs. Sometimes he says the bugs get so bad employees have to keep their drinks covered just so the bugs won't get inside.

"If they would turn it faster, I think turning it faster would help alleviate the trash and the bug problem,” White said.

The I-Team spoke with a representative of the facility who admits they're not moving the recycled material out of there fast enough. In fact, the I-Team has learned the state went out to the facility to inspect earlier this month and found two violations at the facility – one for a broken fence and the other for debris found outside the building.

"Several of the businesses around this facility are upset about the amount of trash that ends up on their property as well as down on the river. How do you respond to that?” asked the I-Team’s Lindsay Bramson.

“They're right. We're upset by it too. And we're going to 100 percent own it,” said Robert Cheney, the director of business development and strategic planning with Waste Management.

When asked what more could be done, Cheney said, “We are looking at increasing the capacity, increasing our ability to handle more material here physically at the plant."

Cheney said they've hired a third party company whose sole job is to clean up debris that flies off site. They've also spent $1 million on new equipment that will allow them to process the materials brought in faster.

Just one day after the I-Team’s interview, the state went out to inspect again and found Waste Management was now in compliance with the law.

Days after the I-Team started asking questions, we went back out to the Waste Management facility and saw much smaller piles further back from the road and all under the enclosed area.

The I-Team checked with Metro Codes and a spokesperson said a business caught littering can be fined as much as $50 a day for every day they are in violation of the law.

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