Knox County Tennessee


Convenience Centers do not accept greenwaste. Greenwaste consists of tree limbs, tree trimmings, brush, logs, stumps, leaves, and yard clippings. Homeowners may manage their greenwaste by burning it after obtaining a permit, by paying landscaping companies to manage it, or by paying to dispose of it at privately owned and operated greenwaste facilities. See information on those options below. Individuals with incidental amounts of potted houseplants, home decorations, or flower bouquets may dispose of those items in either the bulky or regular trash. Center attendants will redirect anyone with more than incidental amounts of household plant or flower waste.

Greenwaste Disposal Facilities (privately owned/operated, high minimum fees)

There are three privately run facilities that accept greenwaste. They all charge a fee. Greenwaste facilities are not owned by the County, and they do not receive government subsidies. Residents are urged to call ahead for pricing because the facilities charge very high minimum fees. Other drop-off options and locations will be listed here if they become available.

Location Phone Address
Living Earth West 865- 927-7647 8707 Joe Daniels Rd
Living Earth East 865-546-0584 6323 Rutledge Pike
Living Earth Downtown 865-281-3388 2601 Middlebrook Pike

Landscaping Companies (privately owned/operated, charges fees)

Individuals interested in having greenwaste picked up from their property should contact local landscapers or property maintenance companies. It may also be possible to hire persons willing to do odd jobs to transport material to a greenwaste facility. When hiring someone that doesn’t normally haul greenwaste they should be informed greenwaste facilities charge high minimum fees.

Burn Permits

Residents may be able to burn brush piles. Knox County Air Quality Management issues the required permit. See their website for details.

Backyard Composting and On-site Brush Management

Knox County residents are required to manage on-site brush in accordance with county regulations to avoid nuisances and health hazards. Failure to properly manage brush piles may lead to violations under Chapter 9 (Lot Cleanliness) and Sec. 38 (Public Health) of the Knox County Code. These rules enable enforcement against unsightly accumulations that risk health, safety, or welfare, potentially leading to notices of violations, fines, and enforcement orders. In some cases, greenwaste can naturally decompose, especially in extensively wooded lots with naturally occurring fallen limbs. On unwooded lots brush may need to be temporarily piled together neatly in the back yard prior to chipping, shredding, removal, disposal, or burning. Below are some guidelines for property owners.

Firewood Preparation:

  • Limbs intended for firewood should be uniformly cut and neatly stored to ensure safety and order.

Piling, Storage, and Accumulation:

  • Collect and pile limbs, tree trimmings, and brush in a single location, preferably behind the home or in the backyard, ensuring piles do not exceed 10ft x 10ft x 10ft dimensions.
  • Piles left on-site longer than 6 months may lead to a notice of violation for creating a nuisance.
  • Ensure brush piles are removed, disposed of, or burned within 6 months to avoid code violations related to unsanitary conditions.
  • Burn Permits are required for open burning and can be obtained from Air Quality Management.

Composting Guidelines:

  • Compost wood chips, leaves, and food waste to create beneficial soil amendments.
  • Use wood chippers for reducing the size of limbs and brush.
  • Regularly cover and turn compost piles to minimize odor and prevent pest attraction.
  • For additional composting information, visit the EPA Composting Web Page.

Christmas Tree Recycling (only Christmas trees during January)

The is a limited collection of live Christmas trees in January after Christmas for Christmas tree recycling. Details about the Christmas tree recycling program are communicated to the media annually after Christmas. See the Christmas Tree Recycling Page for more details.