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Metro Public Works Announces Beginning of Glass Recycling on Lower Broadway


A total of 20 venues will be participating in the initial launch with plans for more

At an event this morning at Legends Corner, Mayor Megan Barry and Metro Public Works announced the kickoff of the city’s first glass bottle recycling initiative.

A total of 20 restaurants and honky-tonks on Lower Broadway will participate in the initial phase of the program, which is beginning this month.

“Lower Broadway has become an international tourist destination, and long-neck bottles are now synonymous with the honky-tonk experience,” Barry said. “For too long, we’ve had to throw away glass that could have been recycled and repurposed. This program is like no other, and we are excited to lead the charge toward a more sustainable city.”

Early in her administration, Barry toured the restaurants on Lower Broadway and identified glass bottle waste as a significant issue. She tasked Metro Public Works with creating a solution as part of her commitment to making Nashville the “greenest city in the Southeast.”

“Last fiscal year, a record of more than 6,600 tons of trash was produced downtown, and we estimate that about two-thirds of that was glass,” said Sharon Smith, assistant director at Metro Public Works. “This will take a significant amount of glass out of the waste stream, where we’re not sending it all to the landfill anymore.”

Growing tourism has undoubtedly contributed to the city’s trash accumulation. According to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., a record 14.1 million people visited Nashville last year. The Nashville tourist experience often begins in Lower Broadway honky-tonks, and those businesses were eager to get on board.

“We immediately jumped at the idea of a glass bottle recycling program,” said Brenda Sanderson, owner of Legends Corner, The STAGE and Second Fiddle. “All of the bars on Lower Broadway have benefited from the influx of tourists, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we want to do our part in taking care of our city and the environment.”

Metro Public Works is using two new trucks to pick up glass bottles twice a day, seven days a week. The department is also researching creative ways to reuse and recycle the glass locally.