In observance of National Public Works Week, today Knox County is highlighting the Solid Waste Department and outstanding employee Drew Thurman.
“The work that our Solid Waste employees do is not the most glamorous, but it is an important service that offers Knox County residents affordable options for waste disposal,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “The safe, sanitary disposal of household waste is a fundamental service that protects people’s health and safety.”
Drew Thurman has worked in the Knox County Solid Waste office for 5 years. Before coming to work for the County, Thurman was a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Romania. He worked on community development in a town in Transylvania.
His job as compliance manager takes on many different roles. Whether looking over fine print of contractor terms and conditions or making field inspections to investigate problems, Thurman’s job is to ensure the Solid Waste Department and its contractors follow the laws, rules, policies and regulations of proper solid waste management.
“In addition to operating eight County waste and recycling convenience centers, we manage a litter control program, handle the waste tire grant program and provide waste reduction and recycling education in the community,” said Thurman. “Knox County Convenience Centers are often referenced by statewide officials as a model for how other counties should design their collection system. Our centers serve over 47,000 customers per week.”
In addition to providing cost-effective waste disposal services and managing a litter crew, Knox County Solid Waste offers comprehensive recycling options at its eight centers, ranging from aluminum can and plastic bottle collection to car battery and CFL light bulb recycling.
The County generates revenue by selling recycled materials, which is money that is not collected through taxes. Each year, taxpayers fork over between $1.6 million and $2 million to haul trash to a landfill and bury it. But just last year, revenue from the sale of recyclable materials earned the County more than $500,000, which helps offset the cost of operations.
For those who work diligently to offer convenient waste disposal options, clean up litter on roadways, provide recycling education and all the other countless aspects of public works, Knox County thanks you.
More information on National Public Works Week can be found at www.apwa.net/discover/National-Public-Works-Week.