CMA Music Festival Turns Tourism Trash Into Cash - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

CMA Music Festival Turns Tourism Trash Into Cash

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- CMA Music Festival brings an economic boost to Music City every year and this year the festival found a way to bring in cash and help the environment.

It could be a sign of the time, but this year festival organizers said that more people recycled at the four day event, than ever before. An estimated 20 tons of recycled material was collected. Amid the concert stages and attractions - opportunities to recycle were everywhere.

"It's important to make it convenient, if you make it as easy and convenient as possible, it can become second nature," said Gwen Hopkins with Metro Public Works.

This new "second nature" meant fewer cleanups for city crews. It also gave Metro a way to turn the tourism trash into cash. All the recyclables from CMA Music Fest were taken to QRS recycling.

At the local recycling plant all the trash was separated and sorted, then taken to mills in Indiana and turned into new products.

"Instead of taking it and burying it, you can then recover it, and get a cost diversion from going to the landfill," said Bart McClain with QRS Recycling.

That cost diversion means that for every ton of trash it costs Metro about $31 to take care of, but every ton of recyclables they collect they get $25.

Last year the total cost of trash was $4.5 million, but the city was able to get about a half million dollars for their recycling efforts.

Recycling may still be a small piece of the pie,but in this era of property tax increases and tough times, it turns out every soda can could possibly help.

The number of people recycling in Metro is slowing going up slightly every year. Last year 31 percent of Nashville trash was recycled, the highest number ever.

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