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 and citywide, Metro Public Works' Waste Wizard app can help you place waste in its proper place.



The items below can be recycled in Metro Government buildings and in Davidson County curbside bins. Be sure items are clean and dry. Additional items are recyclable at Metro Public Works’ Drop Off Sites and Convenience Centers, as well as other locations. See the Waste Wizard for more details.



Corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes, tissue boxes, cereal boxes, paper towel and toilet paper tubes.

Plastic Bottles, Jars, & Jugs

Drink bottles, milk and juice jugs, plastic food jars, kitchen, laundry, and bath bottles and jugs.

Food and Drink Cans

Metal food and drink cans.

Paper & Cartons

Paper & Cartons.


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


Food Scraps

Fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, dairy products, eggs, egg shells, meat, shellfish, fish, bones, shells, grains (such as breads, pasta, rice, cereals, baked goods), snack foods, candy, nut shells, leftovers.

Soiled Paper Products

Coffee filters, paper napkins, paper towels, cotton balls, tissues, greasy pizza boxes, paper take-out containers, paper egg cartons, paper cups and plates (ensure they are 100% paper).

Vegetation & Other

Flowers, grass clippings, houseplant cuttings, leaves/ yard waste, wood chips/ twigs, dryer lint, hair and nail clippings, pet food and pet hair.



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.


Socket's Tips: Ways to Save Energy

Turn out the lights when you leave a room

  • Make your momma proud, turn off unneeded lights!

Make use of natural light

  • Leave the lights off when not needed. In addition to saving energy, daylighting has been shown to reduce absenteeism, improve overall well-being, and improve productivity.

Replace inefficient light bulbs

  • When replacing light bulbs, choose the efficient, long-lasting, and affordable option – LEDs (light emitting diodes).

Unplug unused electronics

  • Unplug your electronics like smartphones and laptops once they are charged.

  • Unplug your adapters too – adapters that are plugged into outlets use energy even if they’re not charging.

Put your computer to sleep

  • When taking a short break from the computer, place your computer on “sleep” mode by clicking on the “sleep” option. For longer stretches and overnight, shutting down eliminates energy draw entirely. Be aware that some IT departments prefer that workers not shut down, as this can hamper their ability to make overnight software  updates.

  • You can also turn off your monitor screen and select the “Power Saver” option on a PC by selecting the Control Panel, then Hardware and Sound, then Power Options.

Use a light touch with the thermostat

  • HVAC units consume the most energy of any system in both the home and most offices.

  • If it’s too hot or too cold in your office, contact your designated facility person.

  • They will contact maintenance and address the issue as soon as possible.

  • To keep building occupants comfortable, General Services sets the temperature of buildings at a range between 68-72 degrees.

  • Please refrain from taking matters into your own hands, as this can have unintended consequences. For example, if you cover up air vents with any materials such as cardboard, it could cause issues with the HVAC system.

Use fans and natural ventilation at home

  • In Nashville, we are lucky to enjoy the seasons of spring and fall. When the weather is temperate, turn off your HVAC, open the windows, and use fans to stay comfortable.

Just say no to small appliances

  • Small appliances such as space heaters, mini-fridges, or personal desktop printers use outsized amounts of energy. They can also be a fire hazard.

  • General Services’ Small Appliances Policy requests that employees refrain from bringing these types of items to the office.

Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer when you leave for the day

  • Even just a few degrees’ adjustment can make a big difference. Socket recommends keeping the temperature at 68 in the winter and no lower than 72 in the summer.

  • Or buy a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts or can be timed for your schedule.

Set your water heater to 120 degrees.

  • Some water heater thermostats come preset to 140 degrees, which can cost you more money. Make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees.

  • This is also recommended to help prevent accidental scalding and burns from water that is too hot – especially important with little ones around.

Do your laundry with cold water. You save energy and your clothes get clean.  

  • 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes toward water heating. (Energy Star)

Be mindful of energy use when cooking.

  • A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the stove's energy.

  • Use pots the same size as your burners. Use lids when possible so you can cook at a lower temperature.

  • Most vegetables, casseroles, and meats do not need a preheated oven. Just turn on the oven, add your food, and bake it a little longer than the recipe time.

Put the shades down.

  • This helps hold in the cool when it’s hot, and vice versa.

Get a home energy audit and look for financial incentives to make energy efficiency improvements to your home.

Various organizations in Nashville offer incentives and other education resources to help make a home energy audit or retrofits more feasible: