Metro leading effort to recycle glass bottles from downtown bars - WSMV News 4

Metro leading effort to recycle glass bottles from downtown bars

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

Mayor Megan Barry's team says they're making a move toward drastically boosting the city's recycling rate. In order to do it, they say they need the help of bartenders.

Head downtown, and it's all rhinestone boots, bands in windows, rooftop bars and, of course, those long neck glass bottles.

"Nashville is synonymous with the long neck bottle," said Mary Beth Ikard, sustainability manger for Mayor Barry. "The volume that's coming out of lower Broad, particularly as Nashville becomes more known around the country and around the world, is something we need to address."

Ikard said downtown threw out 6,000 tons of garbage last year, with glass bottles making up a large percentage of it.

"Shortly after coming into office, Mayor Barry took a late night tour of downtown with our public works crew and noticed just how much glass they were hauling out in trucks to be disposed in a landfill," Ikard said.

Come January, Metro will be asking bars downtown to separate glass from the rest of the garbage so a public works crew can pick up it up to recycle. With the staff, trucks and carts for the process, Ikard said the effort comes with a $400,000 price tag.

She said her department hopes it's a move toward getting Nashville known as the greenest city in the southeast.

"Just recycling one bottle, for example, saves a ton of energy," she said. "Everything we're sending in to landfill, it takes a million years to break down whereas if you were to recycle one of those glass bottles, within 30 days, it can be back on the shelf in your local supermarket. We want to be a sustainable, livable city. The honky tonks are our most iconic district. It would be wonderful to be able to tell our visitors and improve our brand just by having this recycling program around."

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