KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Residents’ enthusiasm for composting in Knoxville has led to more locations being added for the Knoxville Compost Project, according to the city.

Residents can now drop off food scraps 225 W. Moody Avenue in South Knoxville and 210 Alice Street in East Knoxville and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nourish Knoxville Market Square Farmers’ Market on Market Square in downtown Knoxville in addition to the original downtown collection site at 227 Willow Avenue in the Old City.

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

The Knoxville Compost Project was launched in the spring of 2022 by the Waste and Resources Management Office. At that time there was only one drop-off location. Recently in March 2023, the project received a Composting & Food Waste Reduction Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

How to drop off food scraps?

To drop off food, go to one of the drop-off locations and take a quiz to receive the code that opens the food scrap bins. The quiz focuses on composting knowledge and consists of five multiple-choice questions.

What food scraps are accepted?

These are the only food scraps accepted in the compost project:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper coffee filters
  • Eggshells
  • Nutshells

What happens to the food scraps?

Green Heron, a compost service, takes the collected food scraps to partner farms where they are composted in solar-powered composters. This process results in enriched soil that is used to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. The city shared that the food is then distributed to Knoxville residents who have limited access to fresh food.

The additional locations are just a part of the project’s expansion. The Knoxville Compost Project also plans to host composting workshops and support composting at several community gardens throughout town.