Waste Preparation
Household Garbage (Roll Cart) Do's & Don'ts

  • Load and arrange trash items to maximize space.
  • Break down boxes and rigid containers. Garbage Can
  • Bag or wrap all food waste (limits odors).
  • If possible, refrigerate or freeze food wastes until collection day (limits cart odors).
  • AUTOMATED COLLECTION: Some homes are services by one man, automated vehicles, where the driver mechanically empties the cart without getting out of the truck. If you have this type of service, please remember the following:
  1. With the handle of the cart facing your house (not the street), place your cart within three (3) feet of the curb and free of overhead obstructions (wire) by 7:00a.m. on your collection day.
  2. The cart must be at least three (3) feet from other waste in bags or piles and three (3) feet from any fixed objects such as poles, mailboxes or hydrants.
  3. Do not block cart access with parked car(s).

  • Use 90 gallon cart for recyclable items.
  • Place uncontained food waste directly into cart.
  • Leave cart's lid open or unsecured.

    Recycle Bin
  • Curbside Recycling Do's and Don'ts


  • Follow recycling guide for list of recycable materials. No sorting necessary.
  • Place your recycling bin in a convenient location.
  • Place newspaper, magazines, office paper and junk mail in PAPER grocery bags only.
  • Empty all bottles and cans, labels OK (rinsing optional).
  • Remove plastic bottle lids, crushing plastic will conserve bin space.
  • Place your recycling bin (and garbage cart) at the curb by 7:00 a.m. every week on your assigned collection day and remove by 7:30 p.m. that day. If you do not know your collection day call 636-6851 ext. 1.
  • Follow your holiday schedule.
  • Place excess recyclables in paper bags next to your recycling bin.


  • Place items in your bin that are not listed in your recycling guide. (Unacceptable items will be left in your bin for your disposal).
  • Use plastic bags for any recycling purpose.
  • Scavenge items from carts or bins as it is illegal.
  • Put confidential mail or paper in your recycling bin.

Appliances & Bulky Items
Place large appliances and bulky items such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, and water heaters at curbside. For safety, please secure appliance doors properly. It is not necessary to call the city when placing these items at curbside. Allow a minimum of one week while supervisors make arrangements for collection. Your patience is appreciated. All appliances are recycled by the City.

Excess Material
Place excess household garbage in disposable containers, such as plastic bags, next to your 90 gallon roll cart, at curbside, on collection day. Excess recycling should be placed in paper grocery bags only and placed next to or on top of your recycling bin. Also, excess recyclables may be taken to any of the City's five recycling drop-off centers (See RECYCLING DROP-OFF CENTERS). Excessive amounts of yard waste may require special collection and equipment, causing potential delays in collection. Thank you for your patience.

Household Hazardous Waste
City Solid Waste Management does not collect household hazardous waste in curbside services. However, officials of Memphis and Shelby County are currently exploring the feasibility of building a permanent household hazardous waste facility for all of Shelby County. In the mean time, the only disposal option available are local hazardous waste contractors or State of Tennessee funded mobile household hazardous waste events provided once per year, or as funds allow. Citizens will be notified accordingly of collection events and should a permanent drop-off site become a reality.

Construction and Demolition Debris
City ordinance prohibits us from removing dirt, brick, rock, concrete, scrap, lumber, roofing, or any other debris generated as a result of construction or demolition. Also, contractors who generate this type of waste are required by city ordinance to remove such waste upon completion of work.

Homes or businesses serviced by the City may place up to four tires, sizes up to 11 x 22.5 at curbside for free collection by the City. Tire collection may require special arrangements; therefore, your patience is appreciated. For further information call 636-6851 Ext. 1.

Dead Animals 

  • Dead animal removal service is free for residents of Memphis.
  • For removal call 272-2409 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.
  • Also, Solid Waste Management Customer Service 636-6851, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.
  • No collections on Saturday and Sunday.
  • No collections on City observed holidays.
  • Place deceased animal in a plastic bag at the curb in the right-of-way (between sidewalk and curb), not in the street or gutter.
  • No collection of dead animals on private property. Collection personnel are not allowed to enter property, meaning front or back yards.
  • No collections in private developments, private streets, apartment complexes etc.
  • The City of Memphis does not service other communities or unincorporated Shelby County.
  • Animal clinics and other commercial businesses - $20 per animal.
  • Private collection/removal and disposal services are also available locally. Please refer the Yellow Pages Directory or online.

Recycle Bin
Place leaves, grass clippings and shrubbery in disposable bags or boxes at curbside, not in the street or gutter. The City does not collect limbs or logs larger than 13 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length. The City recycles thousands of tons of yard waste into mulch and compost, therefore whenever possible please keep yard waste separate from trash.

Using Yard Waste contractors
By City ordinance, independent yard waste contractors such as lawn services, tree trimmers, landscapers, etc. must remove all refuse generated by their services.

Recycle Memphis!
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