Curbside Garbage

Solid Waste Manager

Patience Melnik
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St., Room 470
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Makenzie Read City Approved Garbage Cart
Solid Waste Manager

Christmas and Thanksgiving are THE ONLY DAYS OF THE YEAR when curbside trash and recycling are NOT picked up as scheduled. For the week following those two holidays, collection is delayed by one day and Sanitation Workers work through Saturday to catch up. The following Monday, service resumes as usual.

**The City Has Modernized its Residential Garbage Pick-Up Services**

If you have not received your City of Knoxville gray garbage cart please call 311.

Each trash cart is assigned to a particular address. If you move do not take the trash cart with you. If a trash cart is not already at your new address please call 311 and we will deliver one to you. It is important that the trash carts remain at the address where they were assigned. Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this detail!

Now that you have received your new City-issued garbage cart please remember that all weekly household garbage must fit inside the cart to be collected. Any overflow household garbage will not be collected. 

Residents who cannot find a way to reuse their old trash cans nor know of anyone else who could reuse their old trash cans may place them inside the new City of Knoxville issued trash cart and fill up the rest of the garbage cart with their household trash. If your old garbage can cannot fit inside the new cart then it is considered bulky waste and must be set beside your new cart empty  with a note on it that clearly says, "DISCARD". It could take up to 48 hours to be collected. Thank you for your patience as we transition into a more modern trash collection system! 

Click here for frequently asked questions or check out the Cart Smart Blog and stay tuned for more details. 

Reporting Missed Garbage Pickup:
*If your gray City of Knoxville trash 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 trash cart so please wait until the following day to call 311 and report the miss. Calls made more than 48 hours after your miss may not be processed until your next pickup day. 

 Why did I get a garbage cart?
• The City of Knoxville is providing households with standard garbage carts at no cost to you.
• Standardized garbage carts offer a significant cost savings and help reduce litter.
• Backdoor garbage services will not be interrupted.

What if I produce more than 95 gallons of garbage a week?
1) Inquire about our free recycling program as a way to divert garbage from the landfill and help manage garbage volumes. Call 311 to sign up!
2) The first Saturday of every month (unless a holiday) is "Free for City Residents" day at the Solid Waste Management Facility that is located at 1033 Elm St. (off the Baxter exit). This is a great chance to do extensive spring cleaning, getting rid of remodeling, or hard to dispose of materials like large rolls of carpet.
3) City residents may use any of the County's 7 convenience centers which offer both trash and recycling options. Find out more when you search "convenience centers" online at
4) Inquire about our Courtesy Dumpster Program by calling 311. Twice a year residents can be added to a waitlist to have a dumpster dropped off at their property for a week at no fee. This is another great option for extensive home clean-outs. There is a waiting period to receive one but the sooner you call and get on the waitlist the sooner the dumpster will be dropped off. 
5) Waste Connections can provide an additional garbage cart for a monthly fee. Call 865-522-8161 Ext. 2 for more information. 

How will I use the cart?
• Use the new cart for garbage pickup beginning Monday, January 2, 2017.
• Put garbage in the cart and bring to the curb or alley with the handle and wheels toward the house. The back of the cart should face your house and not the street. By properly facing your cart in the right direction it will ensure that the automatic arm of the trash truck can effectively lift and dump your cart as well as ensure the lid falls back shut.
• Garbage will be picked up on the same day as before unless you are otherwise notified.
• Garbage cans must be set out no earlier than 6 pm on the day before or no later than 7 am on the day of collection. 
Distance Between Cart and Other Objects• Empty carts must be retrieved no later than 9 pm on collection day and brought back to your house. 
• Place the cart away from vehicles, utility poles or other items that might restrict the garbage truck mechanism from picking up the cart.
• Do not allow the cart to block traffic, mail service, sidewalks or cause a safety issue.
If you move, please leave the garbage cart behind for the next resident. Do not take the cart with you!
• Garbage carts are gray and recycling carts are brown.
• Placing garbage in bags inside the garbage cart will help keep items from escaping during the tipping process.
• Lids must be closed with no additional bags placed on the lid.
• If your cart is damaged or stolen, call 311 or 865-215-4311.Old Garbage Can Uses 

What can I do with old garbage cans?

• Reuse old cans around the house for compost bins, storage for lawn tools, toys or rain barrels.View guidance on how to make a rain barrel here. See here or here for how to make compost bins out of your old trash cans. 
• Old garbage cans that cannot be reused or given to someone else for use may be taken to a City of Knoxville recycling center (5 locations, listed on website) or residents may place them inside the new City of Knoxville issued trash cart and fill up the rest of the garbage cart with their household trash. If your old garbage can cannot fit inside the new cart then it is considered bulky waste and must be set beside your new cart empty with a note on it that clearly says, "DISCARD". It could take up to 48 hours to be collected. 

What is bulky waste?
• Bulky waste items are household items such as furniture, tires, appliances, and other household items too large to fit in your garbage cart, and are set out on the same day as garbage next to your cart (allowing for up to 48 hours from collection day to be picked up).  See the Bulky Waste Page for more details.  
• Appliances containing coolant (e.g. refrigerator/freezer) must be drained of Freon by certified personnel and tagged with proof of proper draining.  Freon containing appliances not tagged appropriately will not be collected and hauled away.  Residents can also transport these appliances to the Solid Waste Management Facility or to PSC metals where qualified staff can drain the appliance and discard appropriately.  
• Construction waste is NOT bulky waste and is the responsibility of the contractor or homeowner to remove.
• Bulky waste is NOT additional bags of garbage that the cart was too full to hold.
• Other items that will not be picked up include but are not limited to pianos, auto parts, and construction and demolition material (including small renovation projects like replacing a door or toilet)
• If you have difficulty keeping garbage to the amount the cart will hold, the City offers other options, including a recycling program that can help residents manage waste. Also, Waste Connections will provide an additional cart and service for a small fee.  Call Waste Connections at 865-522-8161 for more information.  

Do Your Part with the Carts