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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

Plastic Bags

No plastic bags are allowed in recycling carts.

Plastic bags are the #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!

Number of Recycling Carts

Residents may be issued one 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.

Holiday Service

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


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. Find your recycling pick-up day.

Acceptable Recyclable Material

Do not bag recyclables. All items should be placed loose in your recycling cart. Please ONLY place items in your recycling cart that look like these pictures.

Aluminum and Steel Cans

aluminum and steel food cans

  • Food cans
  • Beverage cans

Food and Beverage Cartons

cardboard food and beverage cartons

  • Juice cartons
  • Milk cartons

Paper and Cardboard

mixed paper products

  • Cereal boxes
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Mail
  • Flattened cardboard boxes
  • Other similar paper or cardboard materials that are free of any liquid or food waste

Plastic (Kitchen, Laundry and Bath) Bottles, Jugs and Dairy Tubs

plastic bottles and containers

  • Drink bottles
  • Detergent and cleaner bottles
  • Milk and juice jugs
  • Dairy tubs (yogurt, cottage cheese, butter, and similar food containers)

Preparing Your Recyclables

  1. Place all items loose in your container and do NOT put recyclables in plastic bags or put plastic bags in your cart.
  2. Please rinse plastic containers and metal cans before putting them in your cart.
  3. Flatten cardboard boxes before putting them in your cart.
  4. Make sure any paper or cardboard does not have food waste or oil on it.

Materials Not Allowed in Carts


  • Hardback books
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Laminated paper or photographs
  • Paper envelops with plastic liners



  • Glass bottles or jars - glass bottles and jars can be taken to one of the recycling drop-off or convenience centers operated by Metro Public Works. You can also contract separately for curbside glass collection.
  • Glass windows or mirrors
  • Any type of glass or ceramic

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.


  • Scrap metal
  • Metal trays or pans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Electronics
  • Wires or chains
  • Metal coat hangers
  • Batteries


  • Food waste of any kind
  • Liquid (make sure acceptable containers are free of food or liquid)
  • Food soiled containers such as pizza boxes, paper plates, napkins or paper towels (These items can be composted or taken to a convenience center.)


Donate to a thrift store

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.

Household Recycling Questions

If you have other household recycling questions, please contact us via hubNashville or call 615-862-5000.

Frequently Asked Questions