Waste reduction and responsible waste management support Nashville’s citywide long term zero waste goals. As the Department of General Services strives to reduce waste in Metro facilities, the guides below can help Metro employees and visitors place waste in its proper place. This information applies to Metro Government buildings’ blue recycling bins and larger recycling carts and containers located throughout Metro facilities. This information is also applicable to items accepted in Metro Curby recycling bins for Davidson County residents in the Urban Services District that have access to curbside recycling pickup.

The items below can be recycled in Metro Government buildings and in Davidson County curbside bins. Be sure items are clean and dry.

Paper & Cardboard
CLEAN PAPER & BOXES: office paper, magazines, junk mail, newspaper, computer paper, notebook paper, phone books, paperback books, construction paper, brown paper bags, milk or juice cartons, cardboard boxes, food boxes.

CLEAN PLASTIC BOTTLES & CONTAINERS: drink bottles and their caps, detergent and cleaner bottles and their caps, yogurt/cottage cheese and other dairy "tubs" and their lids, and plastic trays.

CLEAN METAL & ALUMINUM CANS: food and drink cans, empty aerosol cans, foils and trays.

Additional items are recyclable at Metro Public Works’ Drop Off Sites and Convenience Centers, as well as other locations.

The items below can be composted in Metro Government buildings that have composting bins and at Metro Public Works’ four Convenience Centers.

Food Scraps
FOOD SCRAPS: coffee grounds, leftovers, fruits, vegetables, cores/ peelings, tea bags, grains (such as breads, pasta, rice), egg shells, nut shells, snack foods, candy, bones, meat, dairy.

Soiled Paper Products
SOILED PAPER PRODUCTS: coffee filters, paper napkins, paper towels, tissues, greasy pizza boxes, paper take-out containers, paper egg cartons, paper cups and plates (ensure they are 100% paper).

VEGETATION: flowers, grass clippings, houseplant cuttings, leaves/ yard waste, wood chips/twigs.

Items that are neither recyclable nor compostable may need to be disposed of as landfill trash.. As our landfills in Middle Tennessee reach capacity, reducing landfill waste is an important priority for Metro government and residents.

Examples of trash include: candy wrappers, chip bags, styrofoam, plastic toys, pet waste, diapers.
For Davidson County residents, your trash collection schedule is located here.

Waste News & Events

  • Talking Trash: How To Do Good & Save Money

    “By being creative with food waste, utilizing compostable materials, and developing a composting/recycling program a restaurant can save considerable dollars over the long run... I definitely see a future in which Nashville leads the way for citywide composting and the restaurant community will be driving the charge.” – Jeremy Barlow, Former owner of SLOCO restaurant


Socket's Tips: Ways to Reduce Waste