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“To be recognized throughout our community for providing excellent solid waste & recycle collection services, which provides a sustainable quality of life.”
Solid Waste and Recycling contacts are:
The Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center provides solid waste services and mulch sales Monday through Friday, from 7 am – 3:30 pm. No loading will take place during the lunch hour, noon – 1 pm, or after 3:30 pm.
Residents are encouraged to call the Jonesborough Solid Waste Department at 423.753.1006 to make arrangements for loading or delivery of wood or leaf mulch.
Placement for Collection
Jonesborough picks up residential garbage on a weekly schedule. Every household is provided one 95-gallon collection tote at no charge. Totes can be placed at the street curb after 5 pm for collection the next day. The resident must bring the garbage tote to the street and place the tote with the lid hinge away from the street along the curb where it can be reached by the automated collection arm. The “side loader” automated collection allows the Town to pick up residential refuse with one person. Because the truck operator picks up and empties the totes without getting out of the vehicle, all refuse must be inside the tote and not placed separately along the curb for collection. If more than one tote is set out, they must be at least five (5') feet apart. Totes must be far enough away from power or utility lines and overhanging branches. Residents can assist in protecting Town staff and keeping costs low by placing totes in the proper position along the street.
Storage of Garbage Totes
After the tote has been emptied, residents must move the tote from the street to the rear of the premise by 7 pm the day of collection. Containers may remain along the curb line if they are properly screened in an enclosure approved by the Director of Solid Waste. If the screen is located within the historic district, the Historic Zoning Commission must approve the enclosure. Screened containers must be removed from the approved enclosure and properly placed for collection by at least 7 am on the collection day.
Residential collection for areas in Jonesborough is normally scheduled on the same day each week. Check online HERE for the current collection schedule. Normal collection schedules may vary for holidays. Notification of holiday changes are most often advertised in the daily newspaper and online on the website calendar. The 2017 Holiday Schedule can also be opened HERE. Residents may also call Town Hall at 423.753.1031 to inquire about any possible change in refuse collection schedule.
Additional Garbage Totes
Residents may buy an additional residential garbage tote as per Title 17 Refuse and Trash Disposal Chapter 3 Section 17-303. The cost of the additional tote may vary periodically depending on the Town’s purchase cost. The current charge for an additional tote is a one-time fee of $60.50. Residents or businesses that operate with two or more garbage totes will be charged an additional $9.00 per month for the pick-up of each additional weekly refuse tote. Any tote that is lost, stolen or damaged by the user shall be replaced by the user at their own expense as per Title 17 Refuse and Trash Disposal Chapter 3 Section 17-303.
Residential Garbage Fees
The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen set garbage collection fees annually during the Town's budget process each June. Current residential collection fees are $15.50 per month. Residents who participate in the Town's recycling program are eligible for a $2.00 a month discount.
Special Assistance Programs
Jonesborough can provide special assistance for elderly and physically disabled residents. For more information on these programs call the Director of Solid Waste at 423.753.1006.
Jonesborough’s curbside recycling program has been provided for over twenty (20) years. Recyclables are picked up by Town staff and taken to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center which is located off W. Main Street near the railroad tracks. Recyclables are separated, bundled for transport, and then sold. The sale of recycling material alone does not cover the cost of collection. However, the material that is recycled is not landfilled, so the Town saves the cost of landfilling this material as well as helping to extend the life of the local landfill. Every residence that wants to participate in the Town’s recycling program is provided one 18-gallon recycling bin at no cost. The bin is assigned to the residence but still belongs to the Town, so it must remain at the residence should ownership change. Bins can be obtained either dropping by the Administrative Office at Town Hall or calling 423.753.1031. The recycling bin will be brought to the residence or business by the Solid Waste Department. Additional recycling bins can be purchased for $10.00 each. Payment is made at the Recorder’s Office at Town Hall. The cost of an additional bin is a one-time charge, and there is no charge for recycling regardless of how many bins are used by a homeowner for collection.
What Materials Can Be Recycled
- Paper: newspapers, office papers, letters, envelopes, paper bags, advertising mail, magazines, phone books and other books without hard covers.
- Cardboard: corrugated boxes, cereal boxes, cardboard beverage containers, milk cartons, any food boxes that have no food remaining. Break down all boxes.
- Metal cans: all aluminum, metal and tin cans regardless of size. Rinse clean and crush if possible.
- Green, brown and clear glass only. Rinse clean.
- Most plastic recyclables have a triangular designation with a number. Jonesborough only picks up No. 1 and No. 2 plastics. Other types of plastics must be landfilled. Rinse clean, remove lids and crush if possible.
- Jonesborough will pick-up used tires inside Town limits ONLY. However, the State requires a $1.00 fee to dispose of each used tire. This $1.00 per tire disposal fee must be paid at the Recorder’s Office at Town Hall prior to the Town picking up the tire(s).
- Note: Plastic bags are not recyclable and should not be placed in bins or used to bundle recyclables. They can usually be returned to larger grocery stores or big box retailers.
Container Placement for Collection
Recyclables are collected by a two-man crew with a Recycling Truck. Taking the bin to the truck and separating the materials into different boxes is the labor-intensive part of the process. The homeowner can use the above categories and separate the material by using paper bags or by bundling and using twine. Please place recycling bins at the street curb after 5 pm on the evening before collection or before 7 am on the day of collection. Recyclables are collected the same day as regular garbage collection. Click HERE for the garbage collection schedule by street. Recycling bins should be at least five (5) feet from the garbage tote.
Dumpsters vs. Garbage Totes
The Town of Jonesborough provides commercial garbage collection to all businesses, offices and industries within Jonesborough’s city limits. Businesses may use 95-gallon totes, or four (4) or six (6) cubic yard dumpsters. One 95-gallon tote is provided to any business, residence or multi-family unit. Additional totes, up to four (4), can be purchased at the Town’s current cost. $52. + tax. Jonesborough picks up dumpsters with a front-loading garbage truck. The Town's Director of Solid Waste must approve the location of all dumpsters. The Town of Jonesborough must collect the commercial garbage and refuse, with the exception of refuse collection using roll-off containers.
Commercial enterprises, apartments, condos, etc. may use up to five (5) 95-gallon garbage totes for weekly service. If up to five (5) totes are used at one location, the totes placement must be approved by the Director of Solid Waste. The totes must be placed far enough apart so that they can be easily handled by the automatic side-loading collection truck. All refuse must be inside a tote unless prior arrangements have been made with the Director of Solid Waste. Otherwise, the material outside the tote will not be picked up. If more than five (5) totes are needed, a dumpster must be used. Dumpsters must be purchased through the Town or approved by the Director of Solid Waste.
Dumpster Location for Pick-Up
The placement of and access to a dumpster must be approved in advance by the Director of Solid Waste. Dumpster must be placed on a solid pad, preferably concrete, and the pad location and angle of dumpster placement must allow the Town’s collection vehicle to safely travel through the site during collection. The dumpster location must be away from all power or utility lines, as well as overhanging tree branches or building roofs. All curves in the access route must have a large enough radius for the Town’s vehicle to safely maneuver without having to back up.
All dumpsters must be screened. Enclosures must be high enough for the top to be above the dumpster, and may be wood (with planks close together to block sight), brick or chain link if fencing screening strips are used through the chain link so you cannot see through the fence. Metal bollards should be placed behind the dumpster and in front of the fence to prevent the dumpster from sliding and damaging the enclosure. The screening enclosure must have a gate, and the gate latch must be easy to open and close by the Town’s operator. Gates may be locked, but a key must be provided to the Director of Solid Waste. Screening within the Historic District must be approved in advance by the Historic Zoning Commission.
Rental of Totes or Dumpsters
Dumpsters are available for rental through the Town. The current cost of a six (6) cubic yard dumpster is $670. You can order a dumpster or tote by contacting the Director of Solid Waste at 423.753.1006. Payment for a dumpster or additional tote must be made in advance at the Town Recorder’s office at Town Hall in Jonesborough.
- Multiple totes used for business, multi-family residential units, office complexes, etc. are scheduled on the residential collection routes. Click HERE for the residential collection schedule by street.
- Dumpster pick-up may be scheduled more than one day per week depending on the volume of refuse being generated at a business. Click HERE for a schedule of regular dumpster pick-up dates.
Dumpster and Multiple Tote Collection Fees
Refuse collection rates are normally set annually by the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen during the budget process in June. Click HERE for a current dumpster application and fee chart for collection rates.
The Town of Jonesborough has large containers along the back rock wall on the west side parking lot behind the downtown Washington County Courthouse for recycling cardboard, paper and cans. Residents and businesses may also bring larger quantities of recyclables directly to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center off W. Main Street. However, before bringing the material to the Center, you must contact the Solid Waste Director at 423.753.1006 or cell 423.791.3813.
County Refuse Service Centers
Residents of Jonesborough may take refuse and recyclables to any Washington County Refuse Collection Service Center. The closest to Jonesborough is in the Lamar community immediately off State Route 81 South (toward Erwin) next to the Nolichucky River. Regular use of a Washington County Service Center will not eliminate Jonesborough’s monthly refuse collection fee. The County Service Centers require the resident to separate recyclables and put them in the proper disposal containers.
Individual Business Large Cardboard and Paper Collection Containers
If a business or enterprise generates a large volume of cardboard or paper products, the Town can, if one is available, place a large recycling container at the individual business at no charge. The business must properly fold the cardboard or paper material into the container for collection. Individual containers, if available, can be arranged by contacting the Director of Solid Waste at 423.753.1006.
Downtown Garbage and Trash Receptacle Collection
Residential and business garbage collection downtown is scheduled together. Click HERE for schedule. Totes are to be kept in or behind businesses or residences and brought to the street the morning of collection or after 9 pm the night before. Businesses must take their refuse container off the street immediately after collection. The Town has smaller totes that are more easily used inside and are available upon request in lieu of the larger 95-gallon tote. Because some businesses have no room for a garbage tote, upon approval by the Solid Waste Director, businesses and residences in downtown Jonesborough may put bags of refuse in the decorative trash receptacles along the street.
Downtown Decorative Trash Receptacles are collected two (2) times a week by the Department of Solid Waste. If trash receptacles downtown are overflowing with refuse or are in need of cleaning or maintenance, residents and business owners are requested to call the Director of Solid Waste at 423.753.1006 or Town Hall at 423.753.1031.
Jonesborough places portable recycling containers for bottles during special events and activities. The Town is currently working on permanent decorative recycling receptacles that are complimentary to the trash receptacles to be placed in pedestrian areas downtown.
All recyclables collected are taken to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center on Britt Drive off W. Main Street in Jonesborough. At this Center there are can and plastic bottle compactors, paper bundling machines, and other equipment designed to make it easier to handle and transport recyclables for sale. Glass bottles are separated by color and then crushed to reduce space and for easier transport. Companies handling recycled material will pay higher prices when material is shipped in a manner that reduces their time of processing and handling. The Town receives the most compensation for cardboard and the least for plastics. Jonesborough stores recyclables in trailers until there is a load large enough for transport. The Town works closely with the Washington County Solid Waste Director and the East Tennessee Recycling Cooperative in order to maximize the financial return from the sale of recyclables.
Residential Tree Trimming/Removal
Tree brush and other green waste generated directly by the work of residents can be placed properly along the right-of-way for Town pick-up. The Town’s brush truck travels on a set schedule of streets throughout the town weekly, but the actual day of pick-up may vary depending on the work schedule and the weather. Residents with a large amount of brush must contact the Director of Solid Waste at 423.753.1006 to notify him of the amount of brush and the location.
Contract Tree Trimming/Removal
Tree material, trimmings and brush generated as a result of work undertaken by a contractor must be collected, conveyed or transported, and disposed of by the contractor. It is the homeowner's responsibility to ensure that the tree brush and trimmings generated through contracted work is transported by the contractor. Tree material, brush and clippings within the Jonesborough city limits may be transported to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center by the contractor without charge.
Policies Governing Tree and Green Waste Collection
Jonesborough grinds tree trunks and limbs in a ten (10’) foot tub grinder. Limbs that are too long can get caught in the chain drive and tear up the machine. Therefore, when cutting up trees and brush for transport to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center, the following guidelines must be followed:
- Brush and limbs with a diameter of three (3”) inches or less must not exceed six (6’) feet in length.
- Brush and limbs with a diameter of more than three (3”) inches must not exceed four (4’) feet in length.
- Brush shall be placed parallel to the street with the larger ends placed in the same direction.
- Brush or debris may not be placed in or hanging over the street.
- Brush must be placed clear of power lines or overhanging trees in order to protect the safety of Town workers.
- The brush must be placed close enough to the street to be reached by the collection truck and there must be enough room to allow the knuckle-boom brush truck to operate.
- All fence materials or metal of any kind must be removed from the brush pile. If metal or other such material that can damage the tub grinder equipment is seen, the green waste will not be picked up.
- Processed lumber and other such construction material will not be picked up with tree trimmings, brush or green waste.
- The Town will not pick up tree stumps and roots with normal brush collection. Residents may contact the Director of Solid Waste to request tree stump collection. The Town may pick up a tree stump if it is not large or heavy, and it is clean of dirt, wire and stone. The tree stump must also be located where it can be accessed by the Town’s collection vehicle.
The Town normally picks up junk, old furniture, mattresses, box springs, and large appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines once a week on Fridays. These bulky items are picked up in the Town’s brush truck using the grapple arm so only one employee is needed. Because this material is often more time consuming to collect, there is not a regular route throughout town. Residents must call the Solid Waste Department at 423.753.1006 or Town Hall at 423.753.1031 before 3 pm on Wednesday to notify the Town of the need for a pick up. Residents must place the items along the street before 7 am on Friday.
Electronic devices are considered hazardous waste and these items may not be placed in regular collection containers. Jonesborough picks up e-waste on Fridays. The Town does not run an e-waste route throughout the Town, so residents must call the Solid Waste Department at 423.753.1006 or Town Hall at 423.753.1031 to notify the Town of what items are being set out for pick-up and their location. The Town must be notified of the items by 3 pm the Thursday before pick-up. There is no charge for e-waste collection. Jonesborough residents may take electronic items directly to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center at 123 Britt Drive.
The following items are examples of e-waste materials collected by Jonesborough:
- printers, monitors, copiers, key boards, and scanners
- stereo equipment and speakers
- cell phones. telephones, VCR’s, and DVD players
- microwave ovens and small kitchen appliances
- computers (lap tops & desk models), and computer mouse
- fax machines, and GPS units
- video’s games, and PDA’s
- electronic circuit boards
Hazardous waste items are collected under the direction of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, usually two times a year, at a location that is considered a central disposal site in Johnson City. Hazardous waste may not be placed in garbage totes or recycling bins. Homeowners must store them until a hazardous waste pick-up is scheduled. Jonesborough is not authorized to collect or transport hazardous waste except e-waste that is collected and then recycled. The following items are considered hazardous: used motor oil, anti-freeze, pesticides, aerosols, batteries, items with mercury, electronics (unless recycled), radioactive waste, paints and solvents.
There are a number of collection sites and dates in our area. Please Click HERE for more information.
There are times when residents need to dispose of a large volume of trash or junk. Unless the junk items to be collected are large or bulky items, they have to be in a container that can be collected by Town. The Town will provide a large collection bag that will hold up 3300 pounds of junk and trash. The bag is 8 feet long, 4 wide, and 2 feet high. Upon payment of the overnight vehicle fee of $75.00, the Town will drop-off the bag to the resident. Once the bag is filled, the homeowner calls the Solid Waste Department at 423.753.1006 or Town Hall at 423.753.1031 and the bag will be picked-up and disposed of by Town staff. There are no additional costs.
There may be circumstances in which the Town may leave a truck overnight or on the weekend instead of the large collection bag. In these circumstances the truck is dropped off to the residence and then picked up early the next workday. If a vehicle is requested for Friday afternoon, it is picked-up Monday morning. Because the Town has limited work vehicles and they must be emptied before they can be used for normal Town work tasks, the large collection bags are normally used for after-hours collection.
The Town uses a tub grinder to grind up tree branches and trimmings. The grinder uses a screen that creates a ½ inch – 1 inch wood mulch that is excellent for flower bedding and weed protection. The Town also processes leaves for use as mulch and a soil amendment. Wood and leaf mulch can be purchased by bringing a truck to the Pliny Fisk Composting and Recycling Center. Sales are Monday through Friday, from 7 am – 3:30 pm. No loading will take place during the lunch hour, noon – 1 pm, or after 3:30 pm. The Town offers delivery service to Jonesborough residents for a fee.
The current mulch fees are as follows:
- Wood mulch - $10.00 a bucketful
- Leaf mulch (finely ground/rotted leaves) - $16.00 a bucketful
- Delivery charge by a one-ton dump vehicle - $20
Construction materials may be placed in an overnight collection bag provided the material does not weigh more than 3300 pounds.
Large amounts of construction materials must be placed in a large roll-off metal dumpster that is brought to the site by a tractor truck. Once filled, the tractor truck takes the container directly to the landfill. Jonesborough does not provide roll-off container service. This service is provided by Johnson City or by other service contractors in the area.