On MLK Day, Council staff along with some great volunteers scanned 17 recycling carts in Nashville for contaminants. We focused on the Nations and Rosebank neighborhoods.
Out of all 17 carts scanned only 2 contained zero contaminants. The most frequent contaminant that we found was plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be recycled in curbside recycling programs because they get caught in the recycling sorters and cause the machine to completely shut down. This is true of other types of plastic film like plastic wrap as well. Plastic bags must be taken to a place that accepts them for recycling like your local grocery store. Of course, the best option is not to use those plastic bags in the first place! Make sure to acquire and use your reusable bags instead so that you never have to deal with those pesky plastic bags!
Here is a list of all the items that we found that cannot be recycled in Nashville's residential curbside pickup:
Plastic grocery bags, plastic film, egg shells, glass bottles(must be dropped off at a recycling center), food-soiled cardboard, metal bottle caps, styrofoam, receipt paper, tissue paper, paper towels, packing tape, unrinsed steel cans, & yard waste
For a list and visual of what Metro Nashville accepts in their curbside program please visit Metro's website here.