Jan 12, 2023 - News

Nashville doubles curbside recycling service

Animated illustration of a hand drawn recycling symbol changing to a flat recycling symbol, and then to a 3d recycling symbol.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Nashville is doubling its curbside recycling service from once per month to every other week, Mayor John Cooper announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Residents have been clamoring for more recycling for years. Cooper hopes the increased service adds convenience and diverts more trash from landfills.

Details: The new curbside pickup schedule begins Jan. 30. You can find out your neighborhood's schedule online here.

Flashback: Trash and recycling pickup has been a headache for the Cooper administration. When the city's primary trash pickup contractor filed for bankruptcy, it led to service interruptions last year, and Cooper was left to scramble for a solution.

What he's saying: "Recycling is not just a matter of personal responsibility, it is a collective effort that has the power to transform our city and preserve our neighborhoods," Cooper says.

What we're watching: It's unlikely to happen before the August mayoral election, but in the near future Nashville could switch to a pay-as-you-throw strategy. In other cities with similar plans, like Austin and Seattle, customers pay fees for trash pickup, but recycling is free.

  • The city studied the policy early in Cooper's tenure as part of Nashville's zero waste master plan.
  • Last year, voters approved a Metro charter amendment that formalized the city's water department as the agency that handles solid waste collection. The water department, unlike Public Works, is able to charge fees for services. That clears the way for a pay-as-you-throw policy.

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