Curbside Garbage

Waste and Resources Manager

Patience Melnik
400 Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902

Report trash, recycling or cart issues to (865) 215-4311 or

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Makenzie Read
Waste and Resources Coordinator

NOTICE REGARDING HOLIDAYS: “When in doubt, set it out!” Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only days of the year when curbside trash and recycling are not picked up as scheduled. For the days following those two holidays, collection is delayed by one day and Sanitation Workers work through Saturday to catch up. The following Monday, service resumes as usual.

Report Missed Pickup What's My Service Day?
What Goes Where? Bulky Waste
Backdoor  Commercial Waste Services
FAQs Garbage Main Page

City Approved Garbage Cart


Since January 2017, city-issued garbage carts have been picked up by trucks outfitted with automated arms. This modern automated system of collection saves tax-payer dollars, reduces litter, and keeps the drivers free from injury. Please follow these guidelines to ensure pickup:

Place garbage in the City-issued, dark grey garbage cart. We recommend using garbage bags to prevent litter that may escape while dumping.

Cart lid should be completely closed; please do not place bags on top of cart. Bags on the cart or that prop up the lid may prematurely fall out of the cart when it is raised for dumping, resulting in a mess. Overflow trash cannot be picked up. Please see list below for ways to manage any excess trash.

• Place Bulky Waste next to your trash cart by 7 a.m. on your service day. Bulky waste is NOT additional bags of garbage that the cart was too full to hold; bulky waste is furniture, tires, appliances, and other approved household items that are too large to fit in your empty garbage cart. Please see the Bulky Waste Page for more information about what can be picked up as Bulky Waste and how to set it out to ensure pick up.
Place garbage cart within one foot of the curb or the white road edge line. (Carts that are picked up in alleys should be within one foot of the alley asphalt.) If cars park on your street, please place the cart on the street and in between the cars so the automated arm can reach it.
Wheels of the cart should face your home; cart lid should open toward the street.

Set your cart out by 7 a.m. on your pick up day. Even if you have noticed a usual time when your garbage is picked up, this can change at any time. We recommend setting your garbage cart out the night before, any time after 6 p.m.

Retrieve your empty cart from the curb by 9 pm on your pick up day.
Distance Between Cart and Other Objects
Place your cart at least 3 feet away from vehicles, utility poles, mailboxes, other garbage/recycling carts, or any other objects that might restrict the automated arm from picking up the cart. Drivers cannot risk damaging any property and may not be able to pick up your garbage cart if it is too close to an item.

Do not place cart so that it blocks traffic, mail service, sidewalks, or causes a safety issue.

•  Please do not force large items such as styrofoam or cardboard down into the cart; they may block the trash underneath. Drivers cannot return for trash that was trapped and could not flow freely out of the cart when dumped.

Please do not take the garbage cart with you if you move. Each cart has a unique serial number that is associated with its address.

If your cart is damaged or stolen, please call 311 or 865-215-4311.


Having trouble limiting your garbage to 95-gallons a week? Here are some options to help you manage your waste:

Sign up to recycle curbside for free. Call 311 or sign up online.

Take your waste to the City's Solid Waste Facility at 1033 Elm Street (off the I-275 Baxter exit). The first Saturday of every month (unless a holiday) is "Free for City Residents" day. Fees apply on other days.

Take your waste to any of the seven Knox County Convenience Centers, where you can dispose of both trash and recycling for free.

Sign up for the Roll-Off Dumpster Program by calling 311. Twice a year, residents can sign up for the wait-list for a dumpster that is dropped off at their property for a week for $75.

Rent a second, orange and blue garbage cart from Waste Connections for a monthly fee. Call 865-522-8161 Ext. 2 for more information. 


If your gray City of Knoxville garbage cart was not emptied on your regular pickup day, please report by following these guidelines:

• Wait until the next business day to report. Trucks break down, construction blocks roads, and stops are rerouted. Even if you've noticed a pattern of when the truck comes by, there are no set times for pickup. You can't be sure you were missed until the following day; therefore, please wait to report.

• Report within two business days of being missed. If Monday is your pickup day, for example, please report on Tuesday or Wednesday. If you miss the reporting window, we still want to know--but the driver can't return for the trash until the next scheduled pickup day.

• Report by calling 311 or by using the "Report Missed Pickup" button above. For fastest service, please do not email to report. Consider downloading the "My Knoxville App" to report trash misses or any other City-related issue.


Do Your Part with the Carts