Knoxville to Launch State's First Mobile Household Hazardous Waste Program

Communications Director

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

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

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Knoxville to Launch State's First Mobile Household Hazardous Waste Program

Posted: 09/03/2019
The City of Knoxville will launch Tennessee’s first traveling household hazardous waste program in late 2019, making it even easier for residents to properly dispose of such materials at various locations in Knox County.

HHW Mobile Truck

A newly designed truck that will be central to the mobile program will also serve as a traveling billboard, creating visibility and interest, said Patience Melnik, City Manager of Solid Waste. 

“This fall, we’ll begin promoting several drop-off events for residents. We plan to host six to 10 events each year,” Melnik said.

The goal is to collect more materials from residents, while also promoting use of the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 1033 Elm St.

The HHW Facility expanded in late 2018 and was redesigned to improve processes and safety at the 4,000-square-foot building. 

Built in 1997, the Knoxville facility is one of the state’s four permanent HHW facilities and is inspected several times a year by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Melnik said the City tracks usage of the facility, noting that only about 5 percent of City and Knox County residents are using it.

On a typical day, about 20 vehicles come through the HHW Facility after passing over the scales, just like those who drop off their garbage at the Transfer Station side of the facility. Unlike garbage, there is never a fee to drop off household hazardous waste.

Items such as used motor oil, pesticides, gasoline, rechargeable batteries and antifreeze are accepted at the facility. More information about acceptable waste items is found at www.knoxvilletn.gov/hhw.

 “The HHW Facility is underused, so we’re excited that the new program will promote this great service to our residents while also making it even more convenient for residents to drop off materials at several locations throughout the year,” Melnik said.

Featured in the mobile program’s truck design will be Charlie Thomas, who manages the HHW Facility. 

This new program needed a human face in the branding. And now Charlie Thomas will be that public face. Literally.

“It was a big surprise to see my face as part of the new mobile program’s design,” Thomas said. “I am honored to be part of it because this work we do for our residents is so important. I look forward to the new drop-off events later this year. The more people who get to benefit from these services, the better.”

Melnik describes Thomas as a leader who has greatly improved the facility: “We get incredible compliments about Charlie and the facility’s service and cleanliness. Charlie’s staff is a well-oiled machine. I can’t think of anyone better than Charlie to help brand this mobile program.” 

Graphic Designer Dan Frye with the City Communications Department used a photo of Thomas to create the graphic that will wrap the program truck. 

The idea behind the design? Everywhere the truck goes, Charlie is aboard.