Representing citizens’ interests before the Rules Committee –

Board Endorses 29 Years of The Worst Regulations​

After 8 months of research, dozens of letters, 3 appearances before the State Solid Waste Control Disposal Board, BURNT was the only citizen’s group  to contest the proposed Waste Reduction Rule before the Joint-Government Operations Committee on December 19th, 2012. BURNT was opposed to the Rule because it continues Tennessee’s notorious solid waste loop holes such as being the only state which credits land filled construction waste as being recycled. 7 of 15 committee members were present, 2 left before the vote took place, and the rule was approved by default because no motion of approval or disapproval was made.

View the Video: Highlights include

  • 39:52 min – Alan Leiserson, Legal Services Director TDEC speaks
  • 48:22 min – Bruce Wood, BURNT speaks


The Solid  Waste Control Board approved a package of Rules which combined the worst of the statutes from the past 20 years.  ​

Not only is the diversion goal of 25% (the same as in 1991) one of the lowest in the country, there are three different ways for all levels of government to falsely inflate recycle rates to meet the 25% diversion goal:

  1. ​Tennessee will continue to be the ONLY state which credits land filled construction waste in their recycled numbers.​
  2. County’s may choose a base year ranging from 1995 to 2003 in order to make their numbers seem compliant.
  3. Even if the 25% goal is not achieved, they get credit for simply having programs in place.

TDEC claims 50% diversion, Bio-Cycle Magazine and Columbia University in their October 2010 national survey stated Tennessee actually diverted 4.64%.

​Individually  these three rules do not create a clear and firm framework. Together, these rules do not help achieve real world diversion from filling Tennessee’s countryside with waste.

We thank TDEC for being consistently open and accessible.


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