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Plastic recycling on hold in Mountain City


By Tamas Mondovics

Due to the recent closure of Tri-City Waste Paper, the recycling center in Mountain City is no longer accepting plastic recyclables.
TCWP stopped receiving recyclable material last month and has officially closed its doors on Friday, March 16. The plastic recycling dumpsters have already been removed from the drop-off sites.
As a result, Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor announced this week that the county’s recycling center is no longer accepting plastic products.
In an announcement this week Taylor stated in part: “Due to the recent closure of Tri-City Waste Paper, Johnson County Recycling Center will no longer be able to accept plastic products. We will continue to clean cardboard and paper until further notice.”
Of course, the recent change has raised some concern for many residents who have been contentiously doing their due diligence to recycle, like Mountain City resident Elizabeth Herod, who tried to dispose her plastics garbage at the recycling center on 378 Industrial Park Rd, Mountain City.
“They do not accept any plastic bags or plastic bottles anymore,” she said. “It is sad. I guess the dumps on Route 67 will take anything and will be transported to the dumps in Johnson City TN. Once that fills up, then where do we go from here? Expect to see more garbage on our roads in Johnson County. Recycling is a good thing.”
Taylor added, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but with Tri-City Waste Paper closing, we do not have the equipment or means to haul off the plastic.”
Taylor did say that the county has a contract with Benny Lyons from Carter County to handle the cardboard and paper as of right now.
“The closing of Tri-City Waste Paper hit our area hard,’ he said, “I know and appreciate how important
recycling is to this community. We will continue to try to find another viable option to take care of our plastic products.”
Taylor emphasized that he has contacted several agencies close to Mountain City, but no one is recycling plastics right now.
“I will continue to search out companies that are willing to handle our plastic products, but as of right now,” he said.
As for what residents could do, for now, the only option Taylor recommended is to “take the plastic products to the Johnson County Transfer Station, located on JC Industrial Park, State Hwy 67, Mountain City, TN.