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Cookeville Consolidates West Side Commercial Garbage

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Consolidates West Side Commercial Garbage

Some 14 businesses on Cookeville’s West Side will now dispose of garbage in a newly-constructed dumpster enclosure to keep roadways looking cleaner.

Public Works Director Mary Beth Elrod said the individual trash carts cut off the view of storefronts and murals. She said the businesses helped the city pay for the structure and will pay a slightly-increased rate for pickup. She said all of the businesses involved are retail or food service and the frequent shipments they receive often become more than individual carts can hold.

“A lot of times, their trashcans would get overflowing,” Elrod said. “And they had multiple trashcans and it was an eyesore if the trashcans were overflowing, especially if the wind starts blowing, knocks them over or if a car comes through and bumps one, knocks it over so then you have trash on the street.”

Elrod said the move is a win-win for the businesses and the city. A front-load sanitation truck can now pull up to one location for pickup rather than stopping at each store and often having to collect garbage that had escaped the smaller carts.

“The tenants of all of the commercial businesses there, they each have a lock and a key so they can get in and access that, and they can keep that area neat and clean and keep all that trash inside that dumpster enclosure just to make it visually more aesthetically pleasing in that area,” Elrod said.

Elrod said a small dumpster was in place for restaurant use, but this doubles its size in a concrete block structure with a modern, metal gate. She said the area is extremely valuable to Cookeville and keeping it pristine and walkable is vital to the success of West Side businesses.

“We want to make sure people walking are not having to walk by trash carts,” Elrod said. “And so, the dumpster enclosure gets that away from the sidewalks at the rear of the parking lot, away from pedestrian traffic and customers that are coming to those businesses, so it keeps it more tucked away from the customer so it’s not hindering them in any way.”


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