Thank you, Johnson City, for continuing our curbside recycling program and continuing to be a recycling leader in Tennessee. If our recycled products must be hauled to Asheville, is it possible that other items, like tin cans, could be added to the list? My daughter who lives there can recycle more things than I can.
And if there is no market for recycling collections between Asheville and Roanoke, I think it behooves the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership to recruit industries which can convert those materials into usable products. Glass can turn into attractive candlesticks and other art objects, computer paper can turn into more computer paper, cardboard can turn into egg cartons, and tires and plastic can become park trail paving and benches or doormats. There must be enough people in Northeast Tennessee to provide a steady supply of raw materials and customers to make such a business profitable. Or some local entrepreneur could be encouraged to start his own business as Hoffman Composting has done, saving tons of food scraps from the landfill and providing good compost for gardeners.
To encourage continuation of the recycling program, we citizens need to pay careful attention to what we put into our recycling bins, rinsing containers, removing lids, putting only approved items into the bin, etc., to make the job easier for the recycling crews and avoid contaminating the collections. It would be helpful if the city could leave a copy of its excellent, updated instructions in each of our bins.
We need to recycle more, not less.
Invest in renewables
Currently solar jobs are growing at least six times faster than the rest of the economy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics similarly expects that wind energy technician jobs will almost double within the next decade.
After attending one of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s annual seminars in New York City, I was impressed by the amount of money flowing into renewables, but saddened by how few investors had plans to invest in the South, or had heard of local advocacy groups like Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Like many young people, I left Tennessee for college, partly because our region has relatively few jobs in many of the tech sectors I hope to work in someday. Nevertheless, I have tremendous hope that Bill Lee’s new plan to expand rural broadband and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new Integrated Resource Plan will create new opportunities for our corner of Tennessee.
Currently, TVA is reviewing public comments, and I would urge folks to encourage them to expand the share of renewables in the new IRP. As part of the Sun Belt, Tennessee deserves more high-paying jobs in solar. Especially as Eastman and other local employers are going through layoffs, it’s vital to attract new industries to our corner of the state.
My suggestion for a regional name is simply TriState TriCities.
It’s simple and quickly goes to one’s memory. Plus it’s catchy to speak. It’s less tourist speak, but it is more business speak.
After all, we are in the a tri-state region, and we are the Tri-Cities. There are other areas in the country loosely known as the Tri-Cities, but not a TriState TriCities!
SYDNEY FRISSELL JR.