Starting Wednesday, April 1, additional COVID-19 public-safety precautions will go into effect at the City’s Solid Waste Management Facility, 1033 Elm St.


The most noticeable change will be that the drop-off waste transfer station and next-door Household Hazardous Waste Facility will be closed on Saturdays. The popular “Free for City Residents Day” program, which waives drop-off fees on the first Saturday of each month for City of Knoxville residents and attracts a long line of customers, will be suspended until the Coronavirus spread is a much lower risk.


Also, the Solid Waste Management Facility will no longer accept cash payments. Customers will need to pay by debit or credit card.


Finally, the “reuse shelf” at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility is being temporarily discontinued.


“These are necessary safeguards to protect both the public and City Solid Waste Division employees,” Public Service Director Chad Weth said. “We’re still open to help small businesses and homeowners manage their waste. But unfortunately, to adhere to public-health social-distancing requirements, we’ve had to forego our usual face-to-face interaction with customers.


“Thinning out the number of customers on prime-time Saturday mornings and diverting them to less-busy weekdays is a necessary inconvenience. And eliminating the transfer of cash is a practice being followed at solid-waste facilities across the country, due to the belief that the virus might be able to survive for days on paper, and dollar bills can be exchanged multiple times each day.”


For hours of operation and more details,


The City announced other protective measures last week pertaining to Public Service Department operations.


On March 25, the City of Knoxville’s residential trash contractor, Waste Connections, started limiting trash and recyclable pickup service to “content of carts” only. Excess material outside of carts and bulky waste items, such as discarded televisions or furniture, are not being collected by Waste Connections.


Weth also announced that Public Service may be cutting back on residential brush pickup in order to address other higher-priority services, including assistance with collecting bulky waste as needed. (City crews are not equipped to collect overflow garbage and recyclables, only side-of-the-road bulky waste, such as discarded furniture.) Brush still will be collected, Weth said, but not necessarily on the usual every-two-weeks schedule.

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