A survey conducted by the County Executive's office shows 95 percent of those using Cannon County's Solid Waste Convenience Center are Cannon County residents.
County Executive Mike Gannon released the study at Saturday, January 16's meeting of the Cannon County Commission.
"Almost all citizens involved in the survey had a Cannon County Wheel Tax Sticker," Gannon said.
"People don't realize if you buy a vehicle from out of county," the auto dealership places a tag from their county on the vehicle. "That's why so many people have Rutherford County tags on their car here, but if you look closely, they have the Cannon County Wheel Tax sticker," he said.
And that was the case in the recent survey which recorded data from Monday, January 11, Saturday January 9 and Thursday, January 7.
On January 9, 195 vehicles visited the Convenience Center. Out of that total, 94 percent (185) of the vehicles had either Cannon County tags or wheel stickers. Only 10 of the vehicles surveyed were without appropriate tags or wheel stickers.
"Four of them had moved to Cannon County within the past year. Four were driving a borrowed truck," he said. Others included a Cannon County resident who buys their tags in Warren County.
Similarly, on January 7, 95 percent of the 167 persons using the Convenience Center were from Cannon County. Out of the eight vehicles without stickers, two of those own farms in Cannon County, but reside in another county.
Gannon made several points about the Solid Waste system that residents should keep in mind.
"67 percent of our Solid Waste Department is privatized," meaning that tax dollars are not used for those costs.
"To completely privatize Solid Waste, I believe it would greatly diminish the services our citizens enjoy and have become accustomed to," Gannon said.
"The portion from Property Tax is less this year than it was in 2006 and 2007. The Solid Waste budget was cut in 2014," he said.
It is important to remember the Solid Waste Department is the only county service that every Cannon County citizen utilizes, Gannon said.
"We recycle more different items than some larger counties. We are now in the process of adding other items for recycling," he said.
Currently, scrap metal, newspapers, cardboard and tires are recycled with cardboard bringing in the most money. Since 2014, $12,163.15 in cardboard has been recycled compared to $9,982 worth of scrap metal. Newspaper only brought in $133.92 during the same period.
"The focus of county government, in my opinion, should be a long term plan to divert all our Solid Waste from a landfill," Gannon said.
Last June, Cannon County conducted a survey of nine surrounding counties on Solid Waste.
"Cannon County is generally more economical with a smaller cost per citizen," Gannon said.
Macon and Van Buren do have a smaller cost, but they also charge for dumping at their facilities. Macon County charges $2.75 per pound with a $5 minimum cost. Van Buren charges 11 centers per pound.
Cannon County with a budget of $508,000 doesn't charge for trash or tires and is open 60 hours with a cost per citizen of $36.81. In June, the Convenience Center received 549.61 tons of trash that equals 51 loads of trash or 1.7 loads per day.
Warren County has a Solid Waste budget of $1.3 million with no charge for trash; however, tires are taken only on Wednesday with businesses paying $1 per tire. There is no tire charge for residents unless there are several tires.
Fentress County has a budget of $1.57 million with no charge for trash. There is a charge for tires with a cost of $89.82 per citizen.
Putnam County's budget is $4.7 annually with no charge for trash. Citizens are allowed to dump eight tires a year for free. Over 8 tires and the cost goes to $1 per tire.