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Everything you need to know about taking out the trash in Nashville

From recycling to leaf collection to heavy loads, we’ve got the dirt on how to get rid of your trash.

A brown city trash bin sits in someone's driving next to some landscaping.

Let’s do our part to keep Music City clean.

Photo by NASHtoday

Table of Contents

We’re not typically ones to trash talk, but this topic feels necessary. Today we’re gabbing all about garbage. Plus, how to downsize your dump through recycling and composting.

The basics

First step? Find your collection day. Use the calendar tool to review the collection schedule and sign up for reminders. All trash must be fully inside your garbage container to be collected. Don’t have a container? The city provides residents with a single trash cart. Make a request online if you don’t have one.

Heavy trash

Some stuff is just too bulky to fit in the container, or not even allowed in your trash cart. Some of these items — think electronics and DIY construction waste — can be taken to one of the city’s convenience centers. Pro tip: Prices are non-negotiable and must be paid by cash or check.


Cardboard, paper, cans, and plastic bottles go in the bin (eligible households can receive up to two at no cost). Keep it loose — ditch the bag and empty recyclables loosely into your cart.

Learn the rules first. Check out our tips and tricks to recycling. Plus, use the Waste Wizard feature on Nashville’s Waste and Recycling App for what can and cannot be recycled.


Make that waste get to work by turning it into compost. Nashville residents can take their food scraps to any Metro convenience center for free.

Want to do it yourself? Davidson County residents can purchase a backyard compost bin for $50, plus, check out our beginner’s guide to composting.