Curbside Garbage

Waste and Resources Manager

Patience Melnik
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902

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NOTICE REGARDING HOLIDAYS: “When in doubt, set it out!” Thanksgiving and Christmas 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.

City Approved Garbage Cart Makenzie Read 
Waste and Resources Coordinator

If you are an eligible household but do not have a gray City of Knoxville 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. 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!

Please remember that all weekly household garbage must fit inside the gray City-issued cart to be collected. Any overflow household garbage will not be collected. 

Click here for frequently asked questions or check out the Cart Smart Blog for information. 


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. Drivers cannot be sent back for misses reported more than two business days after your service day. 


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 I-275 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 information and locations here.
4) Inquire about our Roll Off 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 a fee of $75. This is another great option for extensive home clean-outs. Visit the Roll Off Dumpster webpage to learn more. 
5) Waste Connections can provide an additional garbage cart for a monthly fee. Call 865-522-8161 Ext. 2 for more information. 


• Put garbage in the City-issued cart and bring to within 3 feet of the curb or alley with the back of the cart and wheels toward the house (front of cart facing street). By properly facing your cart in the right direction and placing it within 3 feet of the street 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 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 at least 3 feet away from vehicles, utility poles or other items that might restrict the garbage truck mechanism from picking up the cart.
•  Ensure that all garbage is bagged and placed loosely into the cart so that it can be easily dumped by the automatic arm of the garbage truck. Do not force items, such as Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or cardboard, down into the cart in a way that the items cannot flow out freely. It is your responsibility to ensure that the garbage flows out completely because Waste Connections will not return for items stuck in 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. 


• 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.  
• Bulky waste is NOT additional bags of garbage that the cart was too full to hold.
• 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.
• 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)

Do Your Part with the Carts