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"Take it to Charlie!" 
The City of Knoxville launched Tennessee’s first traveling household hazardous waste program in late 2019, making it even easier for residents to properly dispose of such materials at various locations in Knox County.

Late last year, the City of Knoxville took its household hazardous waste program on the road. The brightly-colored eye-catching truck that rolls into neighborhoods is key to the success of the state's first mobile household hazardous waste collection initiative.

It also didn't take long for the truck and the program to get the attention of the Tennessee Public Works magazine.

Click HERE to read the two-page story on Knoxville's model program in the TPW January-February edition.

The headline reads: " 'Take it to Charlie!' Campaign: Innovative. Creative. And downright funny."

The aim of the mobile unit is to make it even easier for residents to properly dispose of materials such as used motor oil, pesticides, gasoline, rechargeable batteries and antifreeze. 

The campaign promotes the City's Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 1033 Elm St. But it also offers opportunities to residents to safely discard their household waste without leaving the neighborhood.

The unit's truck serves as a traveling billboard, creating visibility and interest, says Patience Melnik, City Waste and Resources Manager. It features an almost life-sized cartoon of Charlie Thomas, grinning and flashing a thumb's up sign. 

Thomas manages the Elm Street facility, and he'll typically be aboard the mobile unit whenever you see it in action.

Built in 1997 and expanded in 2018, the drop-off center is one of the state’s four permanent HHW facilities. But only about 5 percent of City and Knox County residents are currently using it, even though there is never a fee to drop off household hazardous waste - or to bring it to the mobile unit.

Graphic Designer Dan Frye with the City Communications Department created the truck wrap that's responsible for Thomas being ribbed as "the face of waste" and "the king of trash" by his co-workers.

Neither he nor Melnik mind, because the objective is to collect and safely dispose of more household hazardous waste from more residents.

"Our mobile unit offers convenience," Melnik says. "It also allows us to share information and reach people who might not have even realized Knoxville operates a brick-and-mortar Household Hazardous Waste Facility. So this campaign will have long-range benefits."
Posted by evreeland On 23 January, 2020 at 2:20 PM