Recycling | Nashville Public Radio



As the holiday shopping season ends and return season begins, customers might not realize that many of those items they send back could end up in landfills across the country.

Emily Siner / WPLN

When Nashville residents drop off their glass bottles, paint cans and old batteries to recycle, they can now also bring food scraps.

Nashville glass recycling
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

After releasing our latest Curious Nashville episode on what happens when you put the wrong thing in the recycling bin, we started getting questions from more curious listeners about how recycling works in Nashville.

Alice Harold via Flickr

December is a busy month for recycling operations: In Nashville, the amount of paper that gets recycled is 20 percent higher than the rest of the year. 

Nashville glass recycling
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Inquiring minds — especially newcomers to Nashville — often wonder about the city’s recycling program. Now, spurred by a question submitted to WPLN’s Curious Nashville, there’s some news about an expansion of glass recycling and an explanation of its history here.

Emil Moffatt

Metro Nashville’s budget for this upcoming year was approved this week, and it includes funding for two major recycling projects. But not included was a proposal to double residential recycling pickup, from its current schedule of once a month.

East Nashville resident Ian Skotte and his wife fill up their 96-gallon recycling bin to the brim every month. It gets to the point, he says, where he has to start throwing out things like cereal boxes.

Emil Moffatt

On July 1, Metro Nashville is expanding the list of things you can’t throw in the trash can.  Televisions, computer monitors and other electronics will no longer be allowed.  

City of Tullahoma

One of the things the city of Tullahoma is proud of is its waste collection.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Middle Tennessee town touts its recycling program, which accounts for about a third of its waste. Now it’s adding another way to get rid of trash sustainably: composting. 

Annie Clements, a longtime Tullahoma resident, already sets aside organic waste like food scraps and plant trimmings to decompose, the process known as composting.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The city of Nashville may pickup green recycling carts twice as often to prompt more participation in the program.

Curbside recycling has flatlined in recent years at 11,000 to 12,000 tons annually. Tonnage actually dipped last year, even as the city's population continues to grow.