William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
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As leaders, our mission is to develop a sustainable culture throughout State Government. We will model this culture in TDEC and assist state agencies in implementing best practices that improve efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and contribute to fiscally-sound government. Action-based approaches will focus on travel, building and purchasing.
In the fall of 2012, a formal Welcome Center Recycling Program was launched through a collaboration of the Departments of Tourist Development and Transportation with TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices. The program built on a successful pilot program and addressed increasing interest from patrons seeking recycling options while traveling. Recycling collection service is provided at no cost by community partners including Appertain Corporation, Bi-County Solid Waste, Goodwill Industries Knoxville, Orange Grove Recycling, and Campbell, Putnam, Robertson, Sullivan and Unicoi counties.
The program’s official launch was celebrated on November 15, 2012 to coincide with America Recycles Day. To date, the program has been a success and a popular option for travelers with one center reporting up to 1,000 pounds per month of cans and bottles. To continue building off of the program’s success, the Office of Sustainable Practices is currently working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to evaluate the possibility of expanding the recycling program to Rest Areas across the state.
Additional sustainability projects have been incorporated into the more recently constructed Welcome Centers to enhance a guest’s visit. These projects include the installation of geothermal technology to more efficiently heat and cool the centers and solar arrays to provide clean power.
Welcome Centers have historically looked at ways to make a guest’s visit more enjoyable. In 1982, the Tennessee Arts Commission began placing large-scale sculpture at Tennessee’s Interstate Welcome Centers. Chosen to receive sculptures were Centers located around the State’s periphery so that visitors coming into the State from any direction would be greeted by a major work of public art. Today these works of art stand as visual ambassadors for the State of Tennessee. All of the works are by Tennesseans. The works represent, in style and in technical skill, the impressive strength and diversity of Tennessee’s artistic community. Since the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places program began, millions of people have visited Tennessee’s Interstate Welcome Centers, appreciating the large scale pieces of sculpture that serve as conversation pieces and photo opportunities for visitors and their families, distracting them for a pleasant moment from the rigors of travel.