Solid Waste Facility to Reopen on Amnesty Saturday

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Solid Waste Facility to Reopen on Amnesty Saturday

Posted: 03/31/2017
The City’s Solid Waste Management Facility, located at 1033 Elm St., will reopen tomorrow (Saturday, April 1), just in time for Amnesty Saturday, after experts confirmed a hazardous material containing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (or PCBs) has been safely removed. 

Amnesty Saturday is held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of every month, allowing City residents to dispose of waste materials free of charge.

The facility has been closed since the hazard was discovered Wednesday, March 29, when Public Service crews observed an unknown, potentially hazardous substance leaking from debris. City crews had collected the debris and delivered it to the Solid Waste Management Facility on Wednesday afternoon.

“In the interest of health safety for everyone, we erred on the side of caution in addressing this material, and it was necessary to completely close the facility,” said Chad Weth, Public Service Director. “Fortunately, the PCB levels were much lower than they potentially could have been. However, it was still necessary to follow procedures to prevent exposure to this material.”
QE2, an environmental engineering firm, has been working with the City’s Stormwater Engineering Division to address the matter.

Initial tests showed that the PCB levels of the material in this particular case were 1 part per million (ppm). Federal guidelines mandate that materials with PCB concentrations greater than 50 ppm or higher be contained.

Weth said City service crews are educated on the health risks and identification of hazardous materials, which helped the crew members to respond appropriately in this particular situation. 
PCBs are synthetic chemicals originally used as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment, but were discontinued in the United States in 1977 after evidence showed that buildup of PCBs in the environment caused health effects.

Weth said 21,527 tons of waste are transferred through the facility annually.

For more information on City of Knoxville Solid Waste, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/solidwaste