Progress made on Carter recycling center and convenience station

John Thompson • Nov 4, 2019 at 8:42 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Landfill is a few steps closer to restarting its recycling operations after a fire closed the county recycling center in August.

Two of the final steps have been marked off the list of things to accomplish, one step affecting the old recycling center and one affecting the new recycling center.

One of those steps occurred on Monday afternoon. County officials and the current owner of Lewis Wood Products signed a contract that commits both parties to the sale of buildings and property in the Cherokee Industrial Park.

The signing was discussed in Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Commission’s Landfill Committee. Committee members learned the sale of the property should take place in December. Landfill Manager Benny Lyons said the new recycling center should be open by late December or early January.

On the second step that was recently accomplished, Lyons said progress has been made on the old recycling center, which was located in the old Bemberg water filtration plant located in the Cherokee Industrial Park. He said contractors hired by the county’s insurance carrier have pressure washed the fire-damaged section of the building and removed asbestos. He said the electricity will be turned on very soon.

Lyons said this will allow the county to start recycling cardboard before the new center is officially open. He said only cardboard held by the county will be included in this reopening. Lyons said the county has ben storing cardboard in anticipation of the opening, but has run out of space to store the material.

Lyons said progress is also being made on the opening of the new Roan Mountain Convenience Station. The station was designed by the students of Hampton High School’s architecture class taught by Daniel Arnett. The center’s office building was also designed by Arnett’s students, constructed by the students at the high school and transported to Roan Mountain.

The new convenience station office includes a bathroom, which means the port-a-john which has been posted on the property was removed Monday.

“It really turned out better than I expected,” Lyons told the committee. He said the only task left to complete is new fencing and a gate for the station. Once that has been completed, the county is preparing for a grand opening for the facility and a free disposal day for citizens of Roan Mountain.

Lyons told the committee that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is also considering establishing a permanent collection point for household hazardous waste. Currently, the state only operates a collection site in the county only a few times a year. All hazardous material would still be shipped to a specialized landfill.