40th Spotlight: The Smyrna Recycling Center

The Smyrna Recycling Center opened in 1989 and originally accepted newspapers, aluminum, and glass, as well as dry solid waste (yard debris, furniture, building material, etc.) for Smyrna residents only.

“It was in the old Public Works building on Smyrna Hill Road,” says Ann Kirk, Keep Smyrna Beautiful Director from 1994 to 2017, who also served on the KSB Board prior to her directorship. “When they moved out, we asked if we could have it to start a recycling center.”

A Modest Beginning

“Recycling was just taking hold,” says Ann Kirk. “We had three to five drop-off locations for newspapers and a place to take trash. Then we started accepting aluminum cans.”

Kathy Chapman ran the Smyrna Recycling Center from 2009 through 2021. When she started, the center was still at its original location. By that time, ten years in, the center had grown quite a bit.

“It was small,” Kathy recalls of the Smyrna Hill location. “We had thirteen roll-offs in a tiny space. In order for them to swap the metal roll-off, I had to move a chair. That’s how tight it was!”

A New Location

In 2015, the center moved to its current location at 3475 Lake Drive. The addition of a baler allowed for more efficient processing of recyclable materials, many of which the center is paid for. Proceeds from recycling go to support the litter abatement and environmental education programs offered by Keep Smyrna Beautiful.

Kathy believes education was key to her role at the center.

“I wanted to educate people who were doing this. Most people cared a lot, they just didn’t know what to do,” says Kathy. Even today, she adds, “It’s not going to get better until people know more.”

For those wondering how to get started with recycling, Kathy urges keeping things simple. “Just pick one thing,” she says, “And start there.”

Today’s Center

Today the Smyrna Recycling Center accepts more than two dozen different items, including electronics, paint, glass, and more.

Anyone is free to bring their materials to the center. You don’t have to be a Smyrna resident, and fees apply only for paint, TVs, and computer monitors. Except for holidays, the center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00am to 4:00pm and Thursday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

On the third Friday of every month, the center offers a tour from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., led by the current Recycling Center Coordinator Jerod Stewart. “The tour gave a great mix of very practical how-to-recycle information as well as big-picture info about what happens to the items after they’re collected,” shared a recent tour participant. “I loved going behind the scenes and I feel it was immensely helpful to understanding the recycling process, locally in Smyrna and beyond.” Register here for an upcoming tour.



© 2024 by Keep Smyrna Beautiful.