Despite receiving community support, Atlanta’s next Center for Hard to Recycle Materials won’t be located at Lenox Square mall in Buckhead.
The plans were called off in a “mutual business decision,” and Live Thrive Atlanta, the recycling operator, is working to nail down a different Buckhead location, director Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe said.
“The strong community support we received for this potential second location has strengthened our commitment to pursuing sites in North Atlanta,” Ratcliffe said.
Simon Properties, owner of the mall, declined to comment.Live Thrive is soliciting different options in Buckhead, and it is considering “a few” potential locations, but cannot name any at this point, Ratcliffe said.
Live Thrive Atlanta opened the city’s first CHaRM facility in 2015 at 1110 Hill St. The Lenox Square location was meant to provide a more convenient location for Buckhead residents.
The existing center has since “been hugely successful,” diverting over 7,500 tons of materials from landfills, Ratcliffe previously said. It takes many items for free and some for a small fee, including mattresses, tires and paint. Free items include glass, metal, Styrofoam and batteries.
District 7 City Councilmember Howard Shook had introduced an ordinance specifically tailored to only allow a facility at that location at Lenox Square.
A new location will need a new ordinance and a second vetting by NPU-B, which supported the mall option.
NPU-B voted unanimously at its June 5 to recommend the city approve the facility and some board members said they thought the recycling center would improve the unused lot.
Shook said he would “certainly support” a new location in Buckhead if the stakeholders agreed. He hasn’t heard what the “Plan B” location is, but if an adequate site can be found in District 7, he would introduce a new ordinance, he said.
Sally Silver, Shook’s policy advisor, said this exercise proved that Buckhead would support a recycling facility and that one is needed in Buckhead.
“I wasn’t skeptical, but some people were skeptical that we couldn’t get community support, and we showed that we can,” she said.
Silver said she and others behind the plan see the failure of this location as a learning experience, and believe they have the tools they need to make the next potential site a success.
“I think we have our eyes a little more wide open,” she said. “We don’t perceive any problems.”
The North Buckhead Civic Association wrote in its July newsletter that the facility would have been “a wonderful addition to our community.” Gordon
Certain, the association’s president, said the location would have perfectly central for Buckhead.
“It’s really a disappointment,” Certain said.
For more information about CHaRM, visit livethrive.org.