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Municipal Solid Waste Generation by Material - EPA 2013

Approximately 28% of the waste that Nashville residents create each year is food and yard waste that could be composted! Composting is nature's way of recycling food and yard waste. It is a process that naturally occurs when organic materials are returned to the soil through decomposition. By composting at home, you help keep food waste out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

How you can compost

  • Drop-off at a Metro convenience Center (free)
  • At home (free)
  • Through a local business

Drop-off at a Metro Convenience Center

Davidson County residents can take their food waste to any Metro's convenience centers free of charge.

Materials accepted at the Metro Convenience Center Drop-offs

Materials can be put into a compostable bag (can be purchased on-line or at a local grocery and big box store), paper bag, small paper/cardboard box, or dumped in loosely into the container at the convenience center.

Food scraps

  • Fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs
  • Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags
  • Dairy products and egg shells
  • Meat, shellfish, fish, bones, and shells
  • Pasta, breads, cereals, baked goods, snack foods, and candy
  • Leftovers

Paper products

  • Soiled napkins, paper towels, cardboard rolls, cotton balls
  • Paper plates and cups (including cups from coffee, soda)
  • Soiled pizza boxes and paper take-out containers
  • Paper egg cartons, liners and other paper food packaging

Other materials

  • Cut flowers and household plants
  • Dryer lint
  • Hair and nail clippings
  • Pet food and pet hair

Materials not accepted

  • Plastic, expanded foam
  • Metal, aluminum foil
  • Animal or human waste
  • Dryer sheets

Composting in Your Yard

Learn how to compost food and yard waste in your backyard.

Composting Indoors

If you live in an apartment or other small space, have very limited outdoor space, or want to compost at work, then worm composting is for you. Composting with worms, or vermiculture, is a simple, natural way to create your own fertilizer using food waste, and it can be done indoors.

Composting Through a Local Business

Backyard Compost Bins Available from Metro Public Works

Composters are available for sale at:

Omohundro Convenience Center
1019 Omohundro Place
Nashville, TN 37210

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 a.m.


Payment may be made in cash or check (payable to Metro Public Works).

All sales are FINAL. No returns or exchanges.

Earth Machine Compost Bin

The Earth Machine compost bin

The Earth Machine compost bin is available for $50 (price includes tax). This 80-gallon capacity bin is made of recycled plastic and has a screw-on lid. Perfect for composting leaves, lawn and garden clippings and vegetarian food scraps (no meat, fat or bones). Instruction booklet included.

School Composting

Sylvan Park composting bin

School Composting information

Schools are eligible to receive free and/or loaner compost bins.