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Keeping Franklin 'Green'

Locals Helping to Save the Earth

Buzz words like climate change, conservation, eco-friendly may seem much bigger than most of us, but everyone can make a difference. In fact, we've only scratched the surface on local friends making a difference for our world. These three Franklin friends have made such a strong impact that they could very well have a hand in saving the fate of our beloved planet. 

Lance Jordan, Executive Director, Waves, Inc. 

Tell us a little bit of how the office recycling program started.
Waves Office Recycling Program began in 1994 as a response to two vital issues: encouraging and facilitating the recycling movement in the workplace and creating employment for people with developmental disabilities. Since then, the program has expanded beyond the City of Franklin and
currently serves approximately one hundred businesses while simultaneously creating jobs for 5 people with disabilities, two of whom have been in their positions for twenty years!

What are some of the benefits to businesses who are recycling?
We love that our partners in the business community are taking the step of being environmentally friendly with their recyclable materials and letting us pick those up for a small fee that relieves them of this inconvenience, but most businesses will tell you that they mostly enjoy the interaction they have
with the employees for whom this program was created. The guys in the Office Recycling Team are great ambassadors for hiring people with disabilities.

Where do you see the recycling program in five years?
Seeing as this geographic area is experiencing continued growth at an accelerated pace, we hope to keep up with that growth by increasing staffing and expanding our hours of operation. If we could get a mobile shredding unit, this would allow us to serve businesses that have confidential information needing removal, which in turn creates more employment opportunities for our targeted demographic.

How can someone get involved with Waves?
We always welcome community friends and partners to become involved with all our services, including our Office Recycling Program. The best way to do this is to visit our website,, and follow us through our social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Jennifer Stanley, Executive Director, Keep Williamson Beautiful  

Tell us a little bit about how Keep Williamson Beautiful got started. 

Williamson County became a Keep America Beautiful affiliate in 2001, which was the start of Keep Williamson Beautiful (KWB). Keep Williamson Beautiful serves as the volunteer division for the Williamson County Solid Waste Department. KWB’s mission is to partner with volunteers to keep our community clean, green and environmentally-aware. KWB is volunteer-driven, and the aim is for our events to be inspired by our volunteers and hosted by volunteers so that we can make the greatest possible impact. 

What are some of the {not so obvious} benefits of litter clean-up and recycling? 

KWB encourages Williamson County residents to remember the classic solid waste hierarchy – the “3Rs” – REDUCE, Reuse, recycle. We like to tell people to reduce first, then reuse what you already own as the next best option, then thirdly to “recycle RIGHT.” Williamson County, like much of America, has a waste problem. It is up to each and every one of us to do our part to reduce the amount of waste we create. The goal should always be to use less stuff and to lessen our impact on the planet. We encourage residents to REUSE what you already own as best as possible. Try your best to remember your reusable shopping bag at the store, bring your reusable cup to school or to the office, only buy what you need and reuse what you already own. Recycling is a good option to divert waste from the landfill. Some residents “wish cycle,” which is when you put non-recyclables into the bin in hopes someone will find a use for it. Unfortunately, wish cycling can lead to recycling contamination and actually ruin a load of otherwise clean recycling.

Where do you see the program in the next five years?

As Williamson County is experiencing such rapid growth, KWB is experiencing those “growing pains” as well. KWB relies on our wonderful and passionate volunteer base to continue litter cleanup and prevention, beautification and community greening, and waste reduction efforts. KWB hopes that in the next 5 years, our volunteer base grows with our community and environmental volunteerism is seen as a wonderful way to express civic duty and community pride.

How can the community get involved?

 Visit We encourage residents to sign up for KWB’s e-Newsletter, as we send out volunteer requests through this platform and can always use more help. Please also check out Keep Williamson Beautiful’s Facebook and Twitter profiles for volunteer opportunities. Anyone and everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us!

Lisa Clayton, Parks Director, City of Franklin

What is the mission of the parks department?

Franklin Parks Department is an essential service established to improve the quality of life for all residents of the city by proactively responding to changing demographics and emerging trends while also maximizing all available resources to enhance each resident’s health, and promote economic vitality and long-term sustainability now and for future generations.

What are some of the benefits of having Franklin be known for it's well maintained park facilities? 

We receive visitors from all over the country, and one thing they always mention is how much they enjoy our parks. Our residents are constantly providing feedback on their experiences which helps our department continue providing high quality parks and recreation facilities. Having this reputation gives a great sense of pride to our community, and it also pushes our department to develop creative and innovative ways to continue providing those experiences.

What are some of the environmental issues you face? 

Franklin Parks work hard to maintain and contain forested areas that not only protect water sources, they also help stabilize the surrounding land and stream banks. These efforts assist with preventing erosion of the riverbank. These areas also reduce floods by keeping natural river basins intact and preserving wetlands.  Since 2010, the City Parks Department and Stormwater Division make yearly efforts to plant over 150 trees or more within the parks system, along the streams/river or on city property, where flooding frequently occurs.  These efforts help keep soil in place and their roots soak up water by reducing erosion and anchoring topsoil. 

Are there volunteer opportunities for community members? 

The Franklin Parks Department wouldn’t be as successful without the help of our hardworking and enthusiastic volunteers. Volunteer opportunities exist year round, with the majority taking place during the spring and summer. Activities include special events, athletic league play, fence-painting, invasive species removal, trail clean-up, cemetery documentation or stone cleaning, and many more. We have enjoyed partnerships with schools, nonprofits, corporate groups, and many individuals throughout Franklin.  To volunteer with the City Parks Department, visit

  • Lance Jordan