Specialty Recycling and Donations Guide

Solid Waste Manager

Patience Melnik
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St., Room 470
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Makenzie Read
Public Service Coordinator

How to Manage Your Waste Year-Round: A Recycling & Donations Guide

We hope the information below helps to give your “waste” a second life while minimizing your contribution to the landfill!


Please consider donating the following items to a local organization that in turn gives back to our community—in more ways than one! The following organizations accept items that are gently used, dry, and in working order such as clothing, shoes, textiles, accessories, books, CDs, DVDs, records, videos, toys, artwork, musical instruments, sports equipment, linens, kitchenware, lamps, furniture, lawn tools, Christmas decorations (even artificial trees), and other decorations, etc. If you have questions about whether you can donate a particular item, please call them or visit their websites.

KARM: KARM Stores, 865-521-770 x 1. 

• FREE pickup available with a 1-2 day turnaround for furniture and large donations
• There are 11 locations within Knoxville (locations shown on website)

Goodwill: Goodwill Knoxville, 865-588-8567

• Call 865-584-7726 to find out if you are eligible for a FREE pickup.
• Goodwill has both retail stores and drop-off locations (see website)
• Donations ONLY accepted during open hours to keep items from being destroyed due to weather, theft, etc.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Habitat for Humanity, 865-690-4214
• Located at 1511 Downtown West Boulevard
• Donations help families in our community become home owners
• Call to schedule a pickup if you are unable to bring donations to store
• Accepts items such as:
 - Sets of cabinets
 - Furniture in good condition (no stains or torn upholstery) 
 - Electric appliances (in working condition, large and small)
 - Lawn equipment
 - Power tools and hand tools
 - Gently used clothing and accessories
 - Holiday décor
 - Electronic equipment and televisions less than 5 years old 
 - Window air conditioners
 - Kitchen and bathroom fixtures
 - Most doors and windows
 - Light fixtures

Angelic Ministries: Angelic Ministries, 865-523-8884

• Located at 1218 N. Central Street
• Serves those in our community who have lost their belongings due to a house fire or other natural disasters and those who are coming out of homelessness or abusive situations wishing to start their lives over and have a second chance
• Tax-deductible donations
• Please view website for open hours and/or to schedule a FREE pickup of large donations
• Accepts items such as:
 - Office supplies
 - Canned food (for food pantry)
 - Cleaning and toiletry supplies: shampoo, deodorant, razors, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins (not previously used)
 - Twin mattresses and box springs (in usable condition)
 - Kitchen items: plates, can openers, measuring cups, serving utensils, etc.
 - Sheet sets: twin, full, and queen size
 - All sizes of men’s, children’s, and women’s underwear (not previously worn)
 - Towels and blankets

BICYCLES (all types) as well as gently used bicycle parts and accessories can be donated to the following Knoxville organizations:

DreamBikes: 309 N Central St., 865-474-1752, DreamBikes
• All donations are tax-deductible! 
• Provides jobs to local teens to refurbish and re-sell bicycles back into our community at affordable prices

Kickstand Community Bike Shop: 1323 North Broadway, kickstandknoxville@gmail.comKickstand

• Please email to arrange a time to drop off
• KickStand Bicycle Collective is an all-volunteer initiative to put bicycles on the streets of Knoxville and surrounding area by operating community bike shops, teaching bike mechanics, maintenance, and safe practice.


McKay’s: 230 Papermill Pl Way, 865-588-0331, McKay's
• Please visit website for a more in-depth description of acceptable items
• McKay’s may offer you money back for your items
• If McKay’s doesn’t give you credit for your items there is a free bin outside in which you can place your unwanted mixed media


• All recyclable items should all be placed loose (not in any plastic bags) in your curbside cart or brought to a drop-off center.
• Visit Knoxvilletn.gov/recycling (Recycling) for further curbside recycling information.
• Unlike for trash collection, Waste Connections will collect any overflow recycling year-round! However, any excess recycling still cannot be placed in plastic bags. Paper bags, cardboard boxes, or another container clearly marked as recycling are acceptable for containing your overflow recycling next to your recycling cart. 
• Haven’t received your curbside recycling cart yet? Don’t have a way to transport your recyclables to the drop-off center? If you are friendly with a neighbor who has already received their City of Knoxville recycling cart, please consider sharing the cart in the meantime. (Note that the cart is to remain at the address to which it was assigned.) Haven’t signed up to receive your own recycling cart yet? Call 311!

Please consider these other options for recycling common items that are not accepted in your curbside cart but are accepted elsewhere:

• Glass bottles and jars: any City of Knoxville, County, or UT Recycling Drop-Off Center.
 - City and UT centers are open 24/7 whereas County centers have special hours
 - All 13 locations can be found at this link: Recycling Drop-Off Centers

• Styrofoam meat and produce trays/Styrofoam egg cartons: Publix grocery stores, three locations in Knoxville. 
 - Must be dry and clean of all food particles (only the trays are recyclable--not the plastic wrap or absorbent liner)

• Plastic grocery bags and all plastic film: Any local grocery store (e.g., Kroger, Food City, Walmart, Publix, etc.) Most of the plastic bag recycling receptacles will be located either right outside or right inside the entrances to the grocery stores
 - Plastic bags from groceries, retail, newspapers, dry cleaning, bread, cereal, and produce
 - Plastic film packing bags: shrink wrap, cellophane, stretch wrap
 - Product wrap: plastic wrapping found on paper towels, bathroom tissue, water bottle cases, diapers, etc.
 - Furniture and electronic wrap (plastic film only—not thick, “foamy” wrap)
 - Shipping plastic wrap: shipping envelopes, deflated bubble wrap, and deflated air pillows
 - All plastic bags and plastic film must be dry and free of any trash/receipts

• Christmas tree and lights: 
 - Please visit this link for locations: Christmas Tree & Lights Recycling

• Electronics: The following locations accept various types of electronics. Please call or visit website for more information
 - Select County Convenience Centers, 865-215-5865, Knox County
  •Please note that not all county locations accept electronics—just the 4 listed at the link
 - City of Knoxville Solid Waste Management Facility: 1033 Elm St., 865-215-6700,  Solid Waste Management Facility
 - Best Buy: Best Buy
•Locations will also accept various appliances
 - Goodwill: 865-588-8567, Goodwill Knoxville
 - Batteries Plus Bulbs: 865-770-3368, Batteries Plus Bulbs

• Ceiling tiles: Armstrong Ceiling Solutions
 - View the above link to learn more about recycling your ceiling tiles

• Junk cars: Many local nonprofits will accept unwanted or junk vehicles and then sell them to help fund their worthy causes. Search online for participating Knoxville nonprofits to inquire.  

Confused about where to recycle or donate a particular item? Feel free to call or email Makenzie at Mread@knoxvilletn.gov or 865-215-2817 and together we may be able to find a solution!