Anderson County is asking you to bring only household garbage to convenience centers and the Chestnut Ridge landfill for now as the volume of waste increases while more people are staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The request comes as the stay-at-home order issued by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Thursday, April 2, remains in effect through at least Tuesday, April 14.
In a press release, Geoff Trabalka, supervisor of Anderson County Solid Waste Management, said many residents have extra time because of the stay-at-home order, and some are trying to make the most of that extra time by cleaning homes, making repairs, and working in yards, among other activities.
“All of these activities produce a large quantity of added material to the waste stream,” the press release said. “In the last two weeks, Anderson County has seen an extreme increase in waste being brought to its convenience centers, and to the Chestnut Ridge Landfill, particularly on Saturdays. This has raised the volume of garbage being hauled to 1.5 to 2 times the normal volume. Yard waste and bulk waste items like furniture and appliances are a great portion of that increase.”
The increase in this activity increases the likelihood of person-to-person contact with Solid Waste personnel and other residents at the Chestnut Ridge Landfill, at convenience centers and other Solid Waste facilities—or of people coming into contact with items where the coronavirus may linger for hours or days, the press release said. Many areas have already stopped taking bulk waste and yard waste for the time being.
If a worker at the landfill, or any Solid Waste facility contracts the coronavirus, there is a mandatory 24-hour shutdown for cleaning and sanitizing, the press release said. That could mean that there would be no garbage service available to residents for days or possibly longer depending on how widespread the virus is among Solid Waste personnel.
“We are asking, for the duration of the governor’s stay-at-home order, Executive Order 23, that Anderson County residents only dispose of household garbage—an ‘essential activity’—at the convenience centers and Chestnut Ridge Landfill,” the press release said. “If at all possible, residents should use their curbside pickup or convenience centers as their first option. The long lines at the landfill increases potential exposure and delays the unloading of garbage from municipal pickups and the convenience centers. The long lines at the landfill also are causing delays and backups to removal of garbage that could cause shutdowns of garbage service. Please bear with us as we navigate this difficult time and, wherever possible, delay disposing of items that are not ‘essential’ waste like household garbage. Let’s all stay safe together!”