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Cart Smart Makenzie Read
Waste and Resources Coordinator

Currently 27,743 City residents are participating in the city's household recycling program that began October 1, 2011.

We are expanding our recycling program!  

Call 311 to Request a Recycling Cart Now, or

click here to SIGN UP TODAY for curbside recycling!

Reporting Missed Recycling Pickup:
*If your brown City of Knoxville recycling cart was not emptied on your regular pickup day then please call 311. Note that Waste Connections has until the end of your pickup day to empty your City of Knoxville recycling cart so please wait until the following day to call 311 and report the miss. Drivers cannot be sent back for misses reported more than two business days after your service day. 

The program features:
  • No sorting - all recyclables loose in the cart together
    • Due to recycling markets glass is only recycled by separating by color and taken to drop off centers rather than placed in your curbside cart. Starting January 1st 2017 glass will no longer be accepted in curbside single-stream recycling. Read further details for why this is on the "Recycling" main page. 
  • Recycling cart is provided by the City
  • Pick-up at the curb - simply roll the cart to within 3 feet the curb every other week
  • No additional cost - City residents with garbage pick-up will have no additional fees for the recycling service
  • Good for our East Tennessee environment by helping reduce the volume of materials going into landfills!
Recyclable items that can be included in the cart:
  • Plastics: plastic bottles and lids, plastic cups, plastic jugs, milk jugs, detergent containers,
    all plastic containers #1-7 (#6 Styrofoam is not accepted)
  • Metals: aluminum cans, steel cans, tin cans
  • Paper/Cardboard: newspaper, magazines, junk mail, sticky notes, envelopes(not necessary to remove plastic windows), notebooks, office paper with or without staples and tape, cereal boxes, cardboard, shredded paper (placed in a paper bag to prevent scattered pieces)
  • Do not include:
    • Glass (must be taken to a drop-off center to be recycled), plastic bags/plastic film (all recyclables must be loose in cart- not bagged), food waste, styrofoam, chip bags/candy wrappers (nothing with a silver inner lining), waxy-coated materials (i.e., milk/juice cartons, ice cream cartons, etc.), plastic utensils, straws, aluminum foil and baking pans, batteries, ceramics, dishes, electronics,  hazardous waste, plastic toys, cords/water hoses, light bulbs/holiday lights, medical waste, mirrors, trash, window glass, or yard waste.

For those who currently have a City of Knoxville recycling cart please note that during the times when you have accumulated more recycling than what can fit in the recycling cart you do not need to throw the excess away with your trash! Any overflow recycling should be collected so long as it is not in any plastic bags but rather placed in paper bags, a cardboard box, or another container *clearly* marked as recycling. Any boxes that are outside of the cart must be broken down and placed neatly beside the recycling cart. This is only for when the recycling cart has been filled to capacity that excess recycling sat next to the cart will be collected. Only the accepted items listed above will be collected. 

Ensure that all recyclables are placed loosely into the cart so that it can be easily dumped by the automatic arm of the recycling truck. DO NOT BAG your recyclables; plastic bags are not recyclable. Do not force items such as cardboard down into the cart in a way that the items cannot flow out freely. It is your responsibility to ensure that the recyclables flow out completely because Waste Connections will not return for items stuck in the cart. 

Steps on how to recycle with the cart:

STEP 1: Rinse all recyclable containers
STEP 2: Flatten all recyclable boxes
STEP 3: Place recyclables into cart
STEP 4: Take cart to within 3 feet of curb on collection day

Who can participate?
  • Households in the City limits of Knoxville that receive weekly garbage collection are eligible for the program. Apartments of more than four units are not eligible for this program but may continue to use the drop-off centers for their recycling needs.
  • Residents in the Central Business Improvement District (CBID) will have single stream location options and do not need to sign up for the program. Details will be communicated by the City and the CBID.
  • The City will maintain key Drop-Off Center Recycling locations to serve multi-family residents, apartments and small businesses.
If you still have questions about the program, please contact 311 at 865-215-4311.

City Trash and Recycling Collection on Holidays 
Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are the only 2 holidays that Waste Connections does not make collections on. If your collection day falls on either of these 2 holidays then your collection will resume the following day. Each day after, for that week, collections will be one day behind schedule. For example, if the holiday falls on Monday the collection for Monday will take place on Tuesday. Tuesday's materials will be picked up on Wednesday and so on through Saturday.