City Expands Knoxville Compost Project

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Expands Knoxville Compost Project

Posted: 05/08/2023
The City’s Knoxville Compost Project now includes more locations for neighbors to bring their household food scraps to be composted rather than go to the landfill. 

Food scraps collection site during Saturday Market
Waste and Resources Management Director Makenzie Read holds a metal bowl full of food scraps over the collection bin at the Market Square Farmers' Market. The bin will be available for residents' compostable scraps during the market held on Saturdays. 

Residents can drop off qualifying food scraps at the original downtown collection site in the Old City (227 Willow Avenue), as well as at two additional recycling centers -- 225 W. Moody Avenue in South Knoxville and 210 Alice Street (across from Chilhowee Park) in East Knoxville – and on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Nourish Knoxville Market Square Farmers’ Market on Market Square in downtown Knoxville. These are the only locations where food scraps are accepted for the Knoxville Compost Project. 

“Residents’ enthusiasm about reducing our community’s food waste helped make this expansion possible,” says Waste and Resources Manager Makenzie Read. 

food scrap bins at Moody
The South Knoxville Recycling Center now has four food-scraps collection bins. 

The Waste and Resources Management Office launched the Knoxville Compost Project in spring 2022 with the single food scraps drop-off location in the Old City. In March 2023, the project received a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Composting & Food Waste Reduction Grant, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

What happens to your food scraps? Compost service Green Heron transports collected food scraps to solar-powered composters at partner farms. The resulting compost enriches soil used to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, which are then distributed to residents in area neighborhoods with less access to fresh food.

Participants must take the online quiz to receive the code that opens the food scrap bins. Qualifying food scraps are limited to fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, paper coffee filters, eggshells and nutshells. 

Visit for more details about composting, announcements of future backyard composting workshops and additional information about the Knoxville Compost Project.