Melnik Hired as Solid Waste Manager

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Melnik Hired as Solid Waste Manager

Posted: 11/13/2017

Patience MelnikPatience Melnik, Executive Director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful for the past 2½ years, has been hired by the City of Knoxville to manage its Office of Solid Waste.

Melnik, who will start in her new role by early December, says managing City solid-waste services is, in many ways, a natural extension of the mission of Keep Knoxville Beautiful.

Continuing to divert higher volumes of garbage from landfills by increasing recycling is crucial, Melnik says. She welcomes the opportunity to continue the expansion of recycling and to further improve efficiencies and customer services with residential and downtown trash collection.

“I want to continue to work on the issues and make a bigger impact,” Melnik says. “I love Knoxville, and I want to be a part of making the city better – and greener. It’s a privilege to serve the people of Knoxville.”

Melnik moved to Knoxville 10 years ago when her husband, John Kochendorfer, went to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Oak Ridge. They fell in love with Knoxville immediately.

A native of California, Melnik earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Sante Fe, N.M. She and John have two children, Abe, 13, and Jed, 7.

“Patience will bring a great deal of passion, energy and know-how to the job,” said Chad Weth, the City’s Public Service Director. “We’ve increased recycling to an all-time record level in Knoxville, and we’ve modernized trash collection, but we know we can raise the bar even higher.”

Melnik fills the vacancy created when Rachel Butzler was promoted to Deputy Director of the Public Service Department.