Recycling is traditionally broken down into 3-R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Now, included in the steps of recycling is Rot, which makes it the 4-R’s of recycling. Recycling doesn’t begin at the recycling bin, nor does it end in the recycling bin.

If you are determined to do the right thing, you have to adjust your mindset to start thinking about recycling. We have to change from the old model of trash to the new model of the material cycle. In recycling, there is a flow of materials. Moving from the product you consume back to new products, the flow of materials is key to understating recycling (hence the chasing arrows on the recycling symbol).

This is the first step to recycling. Similar to recycling, it is the process of using less after you have purchased a product. A good rule of thumb is the Halving Principle. It is simply trying to make do with half of what you normally use. Try using half the shampoo or toothpaste and see how much you really need.

If you can reuse something, why are you throwing it out? If you can’t come up with something to use it for, give it to someone else who can use it. Perhaps the item is no longer usable for its normal function, but have you thought about new uses? Try reusing your old toothbrush to clean with for example.

Most people understand this one already. Separate your materials, and take them to one of the drop-off centers listed.

Another term for composting.

Commercial Services

In response to the alarming fact that 40% of Municipal Waste is created by businesses, we offer a Business Recycling Service that provides businesses and other organizations with an easy and inexpensive way to recycle their mixed office paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, electronics, cell phones, and ink/toner cartridges.

We provide the bins, and we are very flexible with scheduling – tailoring it to fit your needs. For information on getting started, please call 865.525.9694 or send an email to

KRC provides off-site document destruction and our service is designed for those customers who do not need the security of an on-site shredder. All the paper we collect is taken to a local recycling processing facility that shreds, bales, and ships the material to mills where it is reprocessed into paper products. We can provide a certificate of destruction if requested.

In addition to the paper recycling, the KRC is now offering Multi-Material pickup. This includes all plastics, aluminum cans, and cardboard. Included for free in with both this and the paper service is pick up for cell phones and ink/toner cartridges.

We currently serve over 200 customers annually, ranging from small businesses with only a few employees to some of the largest businesses in the area. Our service area includes Knox, Blount, and Anderson Counties, including Alcoa, Maryville, and Oak Ridge.

About Us

The Knoxville Recycling Coalition is a local, non-profit organization that has focused on environmentally sound waste management practices for over 20 years.

We offer a multi-material recycling service for businesses, churches, schools, and other civic groups, and we provide education for anyone who would like it.


The Knoxville Recycling Coalition seeks sensible, environmentally sound waste management practices.

The Coalition works with the public, business, government, and community groups to foster and support recycling in the Knoxville area.

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The Coalition’s efforts involve running recycling programs, developing demonstration projects, and providing public education.

The Coalition seeks to move waste management into a new era focused on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and the proper disposal of hazardous waste.