This week, City crews are beginning deliveries of 1,521 new recycling carts – eliminating a waiting list and establishing a new all-time high number of households with curbside recycling.


Public Service Department crews will be delivering the wheeled carts to households throughout the city during June and July. Once the deliveries are completed, a record 26,198 households will be able to conveniently wheel their plastics, cardboard, paper and aluminum to the curb for pickup every other week.


“We know Knoxville families are passionate about recycling, so we want to make it easy,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “We’re setting a new bar with a record number of households. But this is a record meant to be broken. We’ll continue to expand the curbside program.”


Curbside recycling is good environmental stewardship, but it also makes sense economically, said Chad Weth, Public Service Director. Diverting recyclable materials from landfills saves taxpayers’ money.


Weth reminds new curbside recyclers that glass is no longer accepted in the City’s single-stream recycling program. Instead, residents are encouraged to bring glass to any of the City’s five drop-off recycling centers. Separating glass by color at a drop-off center assures a higher-quality product for which there is a resale market.


The expansion of curbside recycling also will benefit large families with their regular garbage collection.


This year, the City delivered new standardized 95-gallon trash carts to all City households, a key component in modernizing the City’s residential garbage collection – upgrades that will save City taxpayers $2 million each year. The carts allow the City’s contractor, Waste Connections, to utilize trucks designed to hoist the receptacles and dump the trash into the back of their garbage trucks, but the new collection process requires that residents place all their garbage inside their cart.


“We’ve gotten some complaints, especially from large families, that it’s sometimes a struggle to get all the trash into the cart,” Weth said. “But curbside recycling is a great remedy. Now, the same families can cut their garbage output in half by recycling.”


The 1,521 new recycling carts are being delivered to residents who have already requested them. However, additional requests will be taken for future deliveries by calling the 311 Center for Service Innovation. Dial 3-1-1 or 865-215-4311.