Specialty Recycling and Donations Guide

Waste and Resources Manager

Patience Melnik
400 Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Report trash, recycling or cart issues to (865) 215-4311 or 311office@knoxvilletn.gov

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Makenzie Read
Waste and Resources Coordinator


We hope the information below helps to give your “waste” a second life while minimizing your contribution to the landfill!


The holidays bring families and friends together and are a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, it is also the season when we typically generate extra waste. If you are unable to reuse the following materials please consider recycling them in your curbside cart or at a recycling drop-off center:
• Wrapping paper
Tissue paper
Gift bags
• Cardboard/ shoe boxes
Plastic containers: cups, bottles, milk/juice/detergent jugs, & caps (attached)
• Holiday cards
• Gift name tags
• Holiday cookie tins (clean and dry- consider reusing or donating if  still in usable condition)
*Not necessary to remove any staples or tape from these items for recycling

Holiday items NOT accepted for recycling:
• Plastic bags/ any plastic film such as, bubble wrap, plastic air pillows, etc.
Holiday ribbons and bows (please consider reusing these)
Any Styrofoam packaging (i.e., Styrofoam packaging peanuts, Styrofoam blocks, etc.)
• Any ceramic or porcelain materials
• Any glass items that are not glass jars/bottles
• Any holiday cards/ gift name tags with glitter, or other non-paper materials on them

Please also consider donating any holiday decorations or no longer needed household goods to any of the relevant stores listed under the "Donate!" section below.

For holiday tree and lights recycling please visit: Christmas Tree & Lights Recycling



Please consider donating the following items to a local organization that in turn gives back to our community—in more ways than one! The following organizations accept items that are gently used, dry, and in working order such as clothing, shoes, textiles, accessories, books, CDs, DVDs, records, videos, toys, artwork, musical instruments, sports equipment, linens, kitchenware, lamps, furniture, lawn tools, holiday decorations (even artificial trees), and other decorations, etc. If you have questions about whether you can donate a particular item, please call them or visit their websites.

KARM: Visit KARM.org/KARM-STORES or call 865-521-770 x 1

• FREE pickup available with a 1-2 day turnaround for furniture and large donations
• There are 11 locations within Knoxville (locations shown on website)

GOODWILL: Visit GoodwillKnoxville.org or call 865-588-8567

• Call 865-584-7726 to find out if you are eligible for a FREE pickup.
• Goodwill has both retail stores and drop-off locations (see website)
• Donations ONLY accepted during open hours to keep items from being destroyed due to weather, theft, etc.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RESTORE: Visit KnoxvilleHabitatForHumanity.com or call 865-690-4214
• Located at 1511 Downtown West Boulevard
• Donations help families in our community become home owners
• Call to schedule a pickup if you are unable to bring donations to store
• Accepts items such as:
 - Sets of cabinets
 - Furniture in good condition (no stains or torn upholstery) 
 - Electric appliances (in working condition, large and small)
 - Lawn equipment
 - Power tools and hand tools
 - Gently used clothing and accessories
 - Holiday décor
 - Electronic equipment and televisions less than 5 years old 
 - Window air conditioners
 - Kitchen and bathroom fixtures
 - Most doors and windows
 - Light fixtures

ANGELIC MINISTRIES: Visit AngelicMinistries.com or call 865-523-8884

• Located at 1218 N. Central Street
• Serves those in our community who have lost their belongings due to a house fire or other natural disasters and those who are coming out of homelessness or abusive situations wishing to start their lives over and have a second chance
• Please view website for open hours and/or to schedule a FREE pickup of large donations
• Accepts items such as:
 - Office supplies
 - Canned food (for food pantry)
 - Cleaning and toiletry supplies: shampoo, deodorant, razors, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins (not previously used)
 - Twin mattresses and box springs (in usable condition)
 - Kitchen items: plates, can openers, measuring cups, serving utensils, etc.
 - Sheet sets: twin, full, and queen size
 - All sizes of men’s, children’s, and women’s underwear (not previously worn)
 - Towels and blankets

LADIES OF CHARITY KNOXVILLE: Visit Ladiesofcharityknox.org or call 865-247-5790
Located at 120 W. Baxter Avenue
• Serves those struggling in our community who may need emergency assistance with daily necessities such as KUB utilities, food, clothing, medicine/ medical equipment, rent, gas, baby care items, and other miscellaneous household items
Please view their website for a full list of accepted items

All types of bicycles as well as gently used bicycle parts and accessories can be donated to the following Knoxville organization:

KICKSTAND COMMUNITY BIKE SHOP: Visit KnoxBikeCollective.com or send email to kickstandknoxville@gmail.com

• Located at 1323 North Broadway
• Please email to arrange a time to drop off
• KickStand Bicycle Collective is an all-volunteer initiative to put bicycles on the streets of Knoxville and surrounding area by operating community bike shops, teaching bike mechanics, maintenance, and safe practice.


MCKAY'S: Visit McKayBooks.com or call 865-588-033
• Located at 230 Papermill Pl Way
• Please visit website for a more in-depth description of acceptable items
• McKay’s may offer you money back for your items
• If McKay’s doesn’t give you credit for your items there is a free bin outside in which you can place your unwanted mixed media

Many thrift stores will take these items for donation as well. 


Lion's Club Vision Program: Visit TNlions.org or call 865-556-9091
Multiple locations (such as Oak Ridge, Johnson City, and Maryville) have donation boxes to drop used glasses in
• Glasses, including those in poor condition, will be recycled and repurposed into new, free glasses for children in developing countries around the world 



• Visit Knoxvilletn.gov/recycling for further curbside recycling information.
• All recyclable items should be placed loose (not in any plastic bags) in your curbside cart or brought to a drop-off center.
• Unlike for trash collection, Waste Connections will collect any overflow recycling year-round! However, any excess recycling still cannot be placed in plastic bags. Paper bags, cardboard boxes, or another container clearly marked as recycling are acceptable for containing your overflow recycling next to your recycling cart. 
• Haven’t signed up to receive your recycling cart yet? Call 311!
• Signed up but haven’t received your curbside recycling cart yet? Don’t have a way to transport your recyclables to the drop-off center in the meantime? If you are friendly with a neighbor who has already received their City of Knoxville recycling cart, please consider sharing the cart while you wait to receive yours. (Note that the cart is to remain at the address to which it was assigned.) 


Please consider these other options for recycling common items that are not accepted in your curbside cart but are accepted elsewhere:

GLASS BOTTLES AND JARS: any City of Knoxville Recycling Drop-Off Center.
• City centers are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• City recycling centers, shown in blue, can be found at Recycling Drop-Off Centers

STYROFOAM MEAT & PRODUCE TRAYS, EGG CARTONS: Publix grocery stores, three locations in Knoxville. 
• Must be dry and clean of all food particles. ONLY the trays are recyclable--not the plastic wrap or absorbent liner.

• Please visit Christmas Tree & Lights Recycling for locations

ELECTRONICS: The following locations accept various types of electronics. Please call or visit their website for more information
• Select Knox County Convenience Centers - visit KnoxCounty.org or call 865-215-5865. Please note that not all county locations accept electronics - just the 4 listed on the County's website.
• City of Knoxville Solid Waste Management Facility - 1033 Elm St., visit Solid Waste Management Facility or call 865-215-6700
• Best Buy - visit Best Buy
• Goodwill - visit Goodwill Knoxville or call 865-588-8567 (will only accept certain appliances)
• Batteries Plus Bulbs - visit Batteries Plus Bulbs or call 865-770-3368 (will only accept certain appliances)

• Learn more about recycling your ceiling tiles at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions

JUNK CARS: Many local nonprofits will accept unwanted or junk vehicles and then sell them to help fund their worthy causes. Search online for participating Knoxville nonprofits to inquire.  

Confused about where to recycle or donate a particular item? Feel free to call or email Makenzie at Mread@knoxvilletn.gov or 865-215-2817 and together we may be able to find a solution!