KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The City of Knoxville provided insight into the analysis of recycling done since the Feb. 11, 2022 audit.

According to the news release, nearly 55% of eligible households, representing about 33,000 families, are signed up for curbside recycling.

The City of Knoxville also emphasizes that the increase in online shopping led to more than half of recycled cardboard. The second-most-common recyclable is mixed paper, which is about 13.6%. The following after are plastics (10.8%), steel (3.6%) and aluminum (3%).

About 16.8% of unrecyclable materials make up only 16.8% of what goes into Knoxville curbside recycling carts.

“We keep recycling viable for our community when we work together to produce clean, salable materials that regional manufacturers want to buy and repurpose,” City’s Waste and Resources Manager said.

Melnik added that Knoxvillians are knowledgeable and motivated when it comes to recycling.

Although the curbside recycling program doesn’t accept glass, residents presort glass before recycling, so it doesn’t travel down the sorting line with other recyclable materials.

“This audit helps us pinpoint which additional conversations with residents might be helpful,” Melnik said. “Plastic film, plastic bags, paper towels and food waste were common contaminants that were collected along with recyclables.

To sign-up for the curbside recycling, call 3-1-1 or visit