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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
November 19, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Recycling is critically important to Dollywood

Soddy-Daisy-based iSustain Inc. is a major partner with the theme park.

After searching for a recycling partner that could help with the unique needs of a theme park environment, Bobby Johnson, Grounds Manager at Dollywood, found Soddy-Daisy-based iSustain Inc. Founded by Dawn and Mark Huber, the company works with entities to identify the best and most effective recycling plans based on a number of factors.

The initiative, which also includes The Coca-Cola Company, was celebrated last week during America Recycles Day.

“As a National Recycling Solution Provider for industry, it is exciting to be partnering and helping Dollywood make an impact right here in our home state and our treasured Smoky Mountains,” said Mark Huber, Vice President of Business Development for iSustain. “Dollywood faces unique recycling challenges due to their expansive property size and the sheer number of guests visiting each day, along with a diversity of waste. Across North America, implementation of creative recycling, zero landfill programs and full circularity solutions is the specialty of iSustain.”

iSustain helped Dollywood source a specialized PET bottle baler to ensure the many collected beverage bottles were baled and ready to sell to companies able to recycle the polypropylene caps and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Additionally, through a partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, more than 65 new recycling bins were deployed, which allowed a convenient location for park guests to recycle bottles. A Dollywood host sorts through the bottles, removing all contaminants placed into the containers.

Once the bottles are sorted, they are compacted into 700-pound cubes by the PET bottle baling machines. iSustain coordinates the logistics and the sale of cardboard and plastics on Dollywood’s behalf to maximize recycling rates and create the best market value. The revenue generated from the cardboard and plastic sales is donated into Dollywood’s Share It Forward, a program which helps employees during times of need.

iSustain also arranges transport of the baled recyclables, which may wind up at a number of locations. For example, several shipments have been sent to Dalton, Georgia, for recovery of the PET to be reused in carpeting. The rest of Dollywood’s household garbage and waste is sent to Sevier Solid Waste, Inc. (SSWI) in Pigeon Forge. All organic waste from homes and businesses in Sevier County is composted at the facility, with more than 50,000 tons of compost produced each year.

We will spotlight iSustain in a future article in

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