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Public Works

Residential Curbside Recycling Program

Residential recycling cart

Curbside recycling service is provided to single-family homes in the Urban Services District of Nashville that receive weekly trash cart collection from Metro Public Works.  Recycling is collected once a month and residents must place recyclables in their green roll-out cart. Recyclables are not to be bagged but placed in the cart loosely. For more details on the residential recycling collection program, please read through the frequently asked questions below or call 615-862-5000.

no bags in recycling carts

No Plastic Bags Allowed in Recycling Carts

Plastic bags are the number 1 contaminant in Nashville's curbside recycling. No bags should be placed in curbside recycling or drop-off containers. Bags of recyclables end up in the landfill!


Residents may be issued 1 green department approved container for recycling. Additional carts may be requested at no cost.

Collection Reminders

Public Works provides a reminder service that makes it easy to remember your pick-up day. If you'd like to receive a reminder message via e-mail each month, you can sign up to get reminders online.

To find out more, choose one of the following topics:

Holiday Service

Metro customers whose collection day falls on a holiday (New Years, July 4th, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas) will have trash and recycling pickup the Saturday of that week.

Household Service

Your Cart

Recyclables for Your Cart

Have Other Household Recycling Questions?

Contact Us or call 615-862-5000.


If you live in a single-family home in Nashville's Urban Services District, your household is eligible to participate in the household recycling program. A good indicator of whether you live in the Urban Services District is your garbage service; if you don't pay a separate bill for garbage pick-up, then you probably live within this area. To find out if you live in the Urban Services District, call 615-862-5000.

Cart Pick-up Schedule

Because monthly collection is more cost-effective than weekly pick-ups, your recyclables will be picked up monthly. Recycling pick-up day.

Collection of recyclables will occur from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on your collection day. Weather, traffic, and the volume of material collected may cause the actual collection time to vary.


Recycling is not collected on New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Any collection day that falls on one of these holidays will be picked up on Saturday of that week.

Cart Placement

You should place your cart in the same place you currently put your trash (curb, alley, etc.). It should be at least three feet from any stationary object such as a car, mailbox, utility pole, etc.

Cart Size and Overflow

The 96-gallon recycling carts are large enough to allow the average household sufficient container space for one month's worth of recyclable material. If you have more material than will fit into your cart, please take those items to a recycling drop-off or convenience center. You can also order a second cart for free by calling 615-862-5000.

Accepted Materials

Picture of accepted itemsmilk and juice cartons

ALL PAPER and BOXES : office paper, magazines, junk mail, newspaper, computer paper, notebook paper, phone books, paperback books, construction paper, brown paper bags, milk or juice cartons (including gable top and aseptic containers), cardboard boxes, food boxes (clean - no food). All boxes should be broken down.

Accepted plastic items

ALL PLASTIC BOTTLES and CONTAINERS: drink bottles and their caps, detergent and cleaner bottles and their caps, yogurt/cottage cheese and other dairy "tubs" and their lids (please empty containers) and plastic trays, such as the lunchable type containers.

Recyclable aluminum cans Recyclable metal cans

ALL METAL and ALUMINUM CANS: empty food and drink cans, empty aerosol cans, foils and trays.

You can put all items in the cart together - no separation is required.

Materials Preparation

You can put all accepted items in your cart together - you do not have to separate any materials. Please rinse cans before putting them in your cart, as some materials may sit in your cart for a month. To maximize the use of your cart, you may want to break down all cardboard boxes, but you do not have to remove any staples from paper or plastic windows from envelopes.

Materials Not Allowed in Carts

Materials not accepted in carts are glass, and soiled food containers such as pizza boxes, plastic toys, plastic bags (check out what types of plastic bags are recyclable and where you can drop-off plastic bags for recycling) and Styrofoam.

Household Recycling is designed to eliminate materials that make up the largest percentage of waste. Since glass makes up a smaller portion of the waste stream than paper, plastic and metals, it is not accepted as part of the household program.

Glass bottles can be recycled at one of the recycling drop-off or convenience centers operated by the Public Works Department. You can also contract separately for curbside glass collection.

Service problems and questions

If you have problems with your service, or questions about the program or recycling in general, call 615-862-5000 or contact us. You can also talk to one of our friendly attendants at the Metro Convenience Centers.

Frequently Asked Questions