By Mike Steely
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s opening of the new Karns Convenience Center Wednesday launched the second largest center in the county, with the Halls Center being the largest. Knox County now has seven places to take your household trash and recycleables.
The new center is located at 6930 Karns Crossing Lane, just off Oak Ridge Highway and replaces the Oak Ridge Highway Center, which was too small and forced traffic backup on the highway.
The center will help save the county about $500,000 per year and offsets part of the cost of landfilling. A Goodwill Donation Center will be available there and will be manned. Two county employees will be operating the Karns Center. Over the past five years Knox County has received about $3.14 million by recycling, saving about $100,000 per year in landfill fees.
Other Knox County convenience centers are located at 7311 Morton View Lane in Powell, 3608 Neal Road in Halls, 7201 Tazewell Pike in Gibbs, 6815 Asheville Highway in Carter, 1950 West John Sevier Highway, and at 10618 Dutch Valley Road in West Knox County.
The Household Hazardous Waste Center is located at 1033 Elm Street.
The City of Knoxville has several convenience centers as well; the city’s centers are at 4440 Western Avenue, 225 West Moody Avenue off Chapman Highway, 210 Alice Street in East Knoxville, 341 Park Village Road in West Knoxville and downtown at 227 Willow Avenue in The Old City.
In Knox County all the Convenience Centers are self-service and often busy, so the best time to take trash there is on a Tuesday or Thursday. Operating revenue comes from property taxes and monies produced through recycling products left there.
While Knox County does not offer at-home trash pickup like the city does, there are several commercial trash services available, including firms like Waste Connection, Waste Management, TnWaste, Snelson Trash Service, Volunteer Waste, and Junk Bee Gone.
Some 47,000 vehicles use the Knox County Convenient Centers each week and the centers are open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. At least one employee is on hand at each center. Goodwill donation centers are located in three of the county centers.
You can take a lot of different things to the convenience centers but you cannot take the following: Hazardous Waste, TV Tubes, equipment with refrigeration coils, and liquid paint.
Things you can’t leave at the centers but can donate to the Goodwill centers there include computers, printers, cell phones, radios, textiles, and usable items.
Generally Knox County residents are limited to one truck or trailer load at the convenience centers per day. If you don’t have a Knox County tag on your vehicle you may be asked for identification. Non-residential trash is normally not accepted at the centers, but that excludes donations to the three Goodwill locations within the centers.
You can contact the Knox County Solid Waste department by calling 215-JUNK (5865) or find the department online at www.knoxrecycles.org or email solidwaste@knox county.org. The web site offers a map of the various locations throughout the county.