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Public Works

Recycling Services in Nashville

Recycle Right

Not everything can be recycled. Check out the information below to Recycle Right or download our How To Recycle Right Guide for a detailed list of what you can and cannot recycle in Nashville.

  • Place only the following items in the recycling container.
  • Items must be clean, empty, and dry.
  • Place items loose in the container, Not in a plastic bag.
  • Plastic caps should be left on or thrown away. Do Not place loose caps in the recycling container.
  • Cardboard should be flattened.
  • At recycling drop-off sites, items must be separated into appropriately labeled containers.

Paper and Cartons

examples of paper and paper cartons

  • Paper
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Mail
  • Food and beverage cartons


examples of cardboard

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  • Cereal boxes
  • Tissue boxes

Food and Drink Cans

examples of metal cans

  • Food cans
  • Beverage cans

Plastic Bottles, Jars, and Jugs

examples of plastic containers

  • Beverage bottles
  • Kitchen, laundry, and bath bottles and jugs
  • Milk and juice jugs
  • Plastic food jars

Glass Bottles and Jars-Recycling Drop-Off Sites Only

No glass in curbside recycling carts.

examples of glass containers

  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars

Leave these out to Recycle Right!

  • No food or liquid. Empty and rinse all containers.
  • No glass in curbside bins. Recycling drop-off site only.
  • Do Not bag recyclables. Place items loose in bin.
  • No plastic bags, plastic wrap, or bubble wrap.
  • No plastic of any kind that is not a bottle, jar, or jug. No takeout containers, Styrofoam, plastic cups or tubs, etc.
  • No hoses, wires, chains, or electronics.
  • No yard waste.
  • No clothing or linens.


Metro Public Works is inspecting recycling carts and placing OOPS tags on carts found with items that cannot be recycled. We will not empty a recycling cart that has an OOPS tag on it.

What To Do If You Get an OOPS Tag

  • Check your OOPS tag for information on what items cannot be recycled.
  • Remove all items that cannot be recycled, even if they were not noted on your OOPS tag.
  • Once you have removed ALL items that cannot be recycled, call hubNashville at 311 to schedule an extra recycling pickup. (Curbside customers are allowed up to three extra pickups per year.)

Removal of Recycling Carts

Recycling carts will be removed if:

  • Items that cannot be recycled are found in your cart two months in a row or on and off over several months.
  • Any recycling cart is being used for trash.
  • Items that cannot be recycled are still found in your cart after reporting the items were removed.

Curbside Collection Information

If you live in Nashville’s Urban Services District and receive trash collection from Metro in the brown rolling carts, your household is eligible to participate in the curbside recycling program. Eligible households are allowed up to 3 recycling carts at no cost.

If you live in the General Services District or a multi-family complex throughout Davidson County, contact your private hauler for information on recycling. All private haulers are required to offer a recycling option for their trash customers. Metro does not supply curbside recycling carts to buildings that use dumpsters for trash collection service.

Collection Guidelines

  • Eligible households are allowed up to 3 recycling carts at no cost.
  • Recycling is collected once a month.
  • On your collection day, place your cart on the curb or alley by 7 a.m. with the arrow on the lid pointing toward the street or alley. Your recycling will be collected between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Do not place the cart within 3 feet of any stationary object such as a car, mailbox, utility pole, recycling cart, etc.
  • If recycling pick-up is delayed due to inclement weather, your recycling will be picked-up the following Saturday.

Helpful Recycling Links

Request a New Curbside Cart Sticker

recycling cart sticker

Residential curbside customers can request a 5" x 15" decal for their Metro-issued green curbside recycling carts with the current recycling guidelines. The most recent sticker is from June 2020. If you have a previous sticker, please request a new one here or check out the new recycling guidelines on this web page for updated information on our recycling guidelines. Decals are for use on Metro curbside recycling carts only and will only be issued to customers with curbside recycling service from Metro.

Request a new recycling cart sticker.

Other Recycling Options

Some materials not accepted curbside or at recycling drop-off sites can still be recycled:

Get Rowdy Recycle Newsletter

Sign up for the Get Rowdy Recycle newsletter. This quarterly newsletter includes tips for how to Recycle Right, news about recycling collection and drop-off sites, and resources to learn more about the state of recycling.

Printable Materials and Signage

How to Recycle Right in Nashville Guide

Our How to Recycle Right in Nashville Guide includes a detailed list of what you can and cannot recycle in Nashville. It also includes poster style information pages that can be printed and used as signage for your home or office.