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Things not rosy with McMinnville Green
McMinnville Green trash.jpg
The city of McMinnville is having trouble with recycling company McMinnville Green due to persistent litter.

Less than two years into a five-year lease agreement with recycling company McMinnville Green, city officials could be contemplating termination. The recycling company has been using a portion of the city’s transfer station on Sunset Point Road to conduct business.

However, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been dissatisfied with the arrangement because Tennessee Green can’t control its sprawling trash.

Back in August, the state issued a second notice of violation after an initial notice did not result in compliance by McMinnville Green. The city was given 45 days to clean up the area or risk losing its permit for a transfer station. If lost, the city could no longer use the property as a transfer station.

Because the permit is in the city’s name, the city receives the citations.

McMinnville Public Works Department assistant director Brad Hennessee informed members of the city’s Street and Sanitation Committee he has been working on a way to prevent the city from being held responsible by the state for the issues.

Hennessee said he invited McMinnville Green owner John Hoch to the meeting and was assured he would be in attendance.

“The city was to author a letter that would include McMinnville Green’s plan of action and then, it would outline to the state the city’s future intention with the transfer station, with the focus on future potential curbside recycling,” Hennessee said. “I drafted a letter. I’m hesitant to speak without Mr. Hoch present. The plan of action that was submitted to the city looks more reactive then proactive. The state might not be happy with that. They wanted the plan to be more proactive measures.”

City administrator Bill Brock says the deadline for submitting the plan of action has passed.

“You need a plan of action and this guy isn’t giving you one,” said Brock. “What’s the next step? You’ve told him two or three times that you need this. Yet he’s failed to provide it. We’re behind the deadline. That should have been turned in Nov. 1. The state is being kind to us right now.”

McMinnville Mayor Ben Newman expressed concern for the future of curbside recycling.

“I wanted this to work, because I had hoped this would be the pathway for curbside recycling,” said Newman. “Right now, he’s not working with the city. He does take our cardboard, but that has a separate issue. If he can’t come up with a plan when TDEC is wanting to help us, that doesn’t sit well with me that he’s going to be able to take on our recycling and meet deadlines when we have large quantities of recyclables that will be coming in.”

The separate issue is failure to pay the city for its cardboard.

“The arrangement we’ve had with McMinnville Green for it to process our cardboard is that we take them the material, they’ll bail it, sell it and we split the cost. Nov. 1 was the third month in a row that we’ve not see anything of him or revenue from the cardboard. That’s another issue I was hoping to get resolved with him here tonight. My question of the committee is how long we let that go before we find alternatives or do we just keep going.”

Hennessee estimates the revenue at $2,500.

“If we need to terminate this agreement, what’s the procedure that we need to take,” said Alderman Mike Neal.

Per the lease agreement, either party can terminate the agreement with a 180-day written notice.

Committee members instructed Hennessee to request payment in full from McMinnville Green to be paid by Dec. 11. Neal requested a committee meeting be set Dec. 12.