Bags to Benches at Bays Mountain Park at Eastman Chemical Company

Recycling mines valuable materials out of ‘garbage’ in order to more sustainably create products that we use every day – from water bottles to carpet, glass, automobiles and even clothing.

When you make the effort to separate and recycle your trash materials rather than throw them away, you are doing a favor for both your fellow man and the environment.  Recycling conserves natural resources, leading to a more sustainable human existence, reduces the need for landfills and costly, air-polluting trash incineration, saves energy and lessens the instance of extraction and processing of virgin raw material from the Earth.

And you can recycle more materials than you probably realize.  From paper and aluminum to cell phones and other electronics, Keep Tennessee Beautiful is your resource for recycling information.

Learn more by using our interactive map to find a recycling center near you.

According to the U.S. EPA


  • Conserves natural resources to help sustain the environment.
  • Reduces the need for landfills and incineration.
  • Saves energy and prevents pollution caused by the extraction and processing of virgin materials.

Learn more about the financial and environmental benefits of recycling.

What's Being Recycled?

American communities recycled and composted just over 30% of municipal solid waste in 2003, diverting 72.3 million tons to recovery. What got recycled? Take a look at some everyday products and packaging: 

  • Paper
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Scrap Tires
  • Cell phones
  • Electronics

Recycling begins when individuals collect and set aside materials to be recovered through curbside, drop-off, school, office building, and other collection programs. Haulers pick up recyclables and transport them to a processing facility where they are separated to create the highest value raw materials. These are sold to manufacturers for making new products. The cycle begins again when consumers purchase products and packaging with recycled content.