City of Forest Hills logo

Recycling Clean Out Day



6300 Hillsboro Pike
Rain or shine


The City of Forest Hills sponsors Recycling Clean Out Day each spring and fall. Since the first Clean Out in 2012, residents have recycled over fifty tons of material. TOTALS

Please follow all instructions

  • Bring ONLY recyclable items that are on this list.
  • Place smaller items in puncture-resistant, heavy-duty bags no larger than 33 gallons or in cardboard boxes no larger than 30x30x30 inches.
  • Tie bags closed.
  • Do not overload: nothing heavier than 30 pounds.
  • Bring bags, boxes, and items to City Hall.
  • Enjoy your extra space!

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Take to AutoZone or Pep Boys
Pellets (peanuts) only

We are not legally allowed to transport paint for you. Metro will accept some paints and many other household hazardous wastes for disposal at the facility located at 943A Doctor Richard G. Adams Dr. Map

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Computers, monitors, DVD players, electronics, broken small appliances, stereos

ACCEPTED: Working/non-working computers, printers, copiers, faxes, scanners, phone systems, servers, calculators, stereos, speakers, cameras, gaming consoles, PDAs, cell phones, electronics, accessories and parts including cables, mouse, keyboards, software, modems, tape drives, disk drives, laptop batteries, adapters, docking stations, credit card readers, DVDs, tapes, diskettes

Working and non-working monitors and televisions, CRT and flat-screen

Non-working small appliances (typically countertop units or smaller) including microwaves, coffee makers, food processors, vacuums



All types of dry-cell and vehicle batteries

ACCEPTED: All types of dry-cell batteries, disposable and rechargeable: AAA to D, 9-volt, button, power tool, laptop, cell phone, camera batteries. Carbon Zinc, Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad), Lithium, Lithium-ion (Li-ion), Mercury, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Zinc Air, Silver Oxide, Lead-acid, hard-case batteries: Car, truck, motorcycle, boat, mower, RV, ATV, etc.

Tape all positive contacts on all non-alkaline batteries as required by law to prevent fire during transportation. Place in a sealed one-gallon Ziploc bag.



All bulb types, no broken items

ACCEPTED: Place compact fluorescent, LED, incandescent, and other residential lamps in a one-gallon Ziploc bag.

For fluorescent tubes, bring in original packaging or bind tubes together in bundles of four with a rubber band at each end.

Broken or crushed items will not be accepted. Discard broken lamps. Follow EPA guidelines

bulk items


Large appliances, tires, mattresses, box springs

ACCEPTED: All large appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves.

Automobile and motorcycle tires.

Mattresses and box springs.

scrap metal


Anything metal

ACCEPTED: Tools, bikes, lawnmowers, auto parts, grills, exercise equipment, non-working small and large appliances with a cord. All items must be at least 80% metal to be recycled as scrap metal.



Clothing, household items, furniture, books, appliances, linens, shoes, jewelry, accessories

ACCEPTED: Gently used clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes/boots, housewares, appliances, antiques, furniture, paintings, linens, books, musical instruments, tools, seasonal items, clean items for rags divided into a separate bag, etc. Full list

GUIDELINES: Items that are in clean, good working order are most beneficial for Goodwill donation programs. Goodwill is unable to repair broken items.



Wire hangers, packing peanuts, wood pallets

ACCEPTED: Packing peanuts only; no molded Styrofoam. Bag any color or type of packing peanuts with no other items; tie bag tight.

Wire, dry-cleaner-style hangers only in bunches of 24 tied at the hook with rubber band or twine.

48 x 40 unbroken pallets are accepted.



Over-the-counter and prescription drugs

Metro Police Department will be onsite to collect prescription drugs for proper disposal. Medications can be mixed together. Please cross out name and address if you choose to leave it in the original packaging.

ACCEPTED: Prescription medications; all over-the-counter medications; pet medications; medicated ointment, lotions, or drops; liquid medications in leak-proof containers; inhalers; pills in any packaging, including glass, plastic containers, plastic bags, glass, foil

NOT ACCEPTED: Illegal drugs and narcotics, needles/sharps or syringes with needles, blood sugar equipment, thermometers, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, personal care products (lotions, shampoos, etc.)



Document shredding and recycling

Documents are shredded onsite then taken for recycling. Bring documents such as credit card statements, old checks, tax returns, and anything that could be used to steal your identity if it fell into the wrong hands.

ACCEPTED: Paper and photos in an untied garbage bag or open box

NOT ACCEPTED: Binders, newspaper, hardback books

Closing the loop: Where do your items go from here?

If you’ve brought items to the semi-annual Recycling Clean Out days at City Hall every spring and fall, you might wonder what happens to the materials after you unload them, and what happens to other recyclables collected door-to-door or at drop-off centers.

Generally speaking, recycled goods are commodities that are bought and sold in the process of being remade into new items. The first step for most collected goods is a recovery facility where items are sorted according to recycled content and prepared for resale to a manufacturer.

When companies buy recycled goods to use in the manufacturing process, it strengthens the markets for recycled materials as well as providing environmental benefits over using virgin natural resources. And when consumers buy products made with recycled content, they “close the loop” to keep markets for recycled materials viable.

Goods collected at Forest Hills Clean Out days are immediately sorted on site and sent to the vendor or processor responsible for that category. Items fall into three categories:

● Recycled: melted down or reprocessed to make into new products.

● Reused: finding a new life in its present form, as in items going to Goodwill Industries.

● Safely disposed: sent to a licensed processing facility. This includes batteries, bulbs, medications, and similar items.

The City provides the collection service at no cost to residents, although in some instances Forest Hills pays recycling vendors because the recycling companies cannot always depend upon the yield of the goods to cover their expenses.

Here’s who handles some of the materials you bring to Recycling Clean Out days.

Scrap metal

College Hunks Hauling Junk collects scrap metal and provides the scrap metal containers, as well as the majority of the muscle/hired hands, for the day. Joe Cacchiola, director of sales and marketing for Nashville region, said the metal they collect is sold by the pound to one of several local scrap yards that College Hunks uses, where it is sorted, melted, and sold as raw material for reuse.


“We are a green company, LEED certified. Our goal is to keep materials out of the landfill,” Joe said. “The best thing residents can do to have a positive impact is to continue bringing as much as possible on collection days.”

College Hunks does not charge the City for its services on Recycling Clean Out days.

Shredded documents

Shred on the Run, a Nashville-based family owned company, collects documents and shreds them onsite via its mobile shred trucks. The shredded material is sent to a paper mill where the paper is recycled and made into commercial-quality toilet paper and paper towels.

“Shredding is an important way for residents to protect their identity,” Roy Coggins, owner of Shred on the Run, said. “Anything that has your social security number, credit card information, even an NES bill, can be used to get personal information about you and use it against you.”

Shred on the Run charges the City a small fee to cover the cost of providing a truck and worker on site.


Reusable items

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee typically collects enough reusable clothing, household goods, and other items to fill a 26-foot box truck. The materials collected are evaluated for quality and go immediately to stores for sale to consumers.


“We don’t take anything for the purpose of recycling it. Everything first goes to stores for a four-week cycle. If it doesn’t sell then, it is moved to one of our outlet stores, where merchandise is sold by the pound,” Jamie Goss, donation specialist for Goodwill Industries, said. “It is only sold in bulk or sold for recycling after it has been in retail and outlet stores and is unsellable there.”

Goodwill Industries collects goods at no charge to the City.

Goodwill can’t take anything dirty, wet, broken, or damaged. To make the reuse market stronger, Goss said, bring items that are in good condition or gently used, suitable for resale and reuse.



When you donate used mattresses and box springs, they are taken to the warehouse of Spring Back Mattress Recycling for processing by a workforce composed primarily of men who need a fresh start.

Spring Back, which began in 2010 as a project of Belmont University students, looks at mattress recycling as a means of achieving a triple benefit: serving people in need, renewing the planet, and sustainably earning a profit.

The company’s goals are to offer disenfranchised men transitional earned-income employment opportunities while creating a recycling alternative to landfilling mattresses and box springs. It serves men formerly incarcerated, in recovery, homeless veterans, and other groups in need of a second chance.

Workers at Spring Back are trained to separate the metal, fiber, and wood in mattresses and box springs, and each type of material is sent for recycling.

Recycling Clean Out Cumulative Totals

Recycled Items Fall 12 Spring 13 Fall 13 Spring 14 Fall 14 Spring 15 Fall 15 Spring 16 Fall 16 Spring 17 Total
Electronics recycling (lbs.) 11,096 10,393 4,256 6,228 6,181 6,609 5,657 7,341 5,217 7,145 70,123
Scrap metal/bulk items (lbs.) 4,000 6,000 5,000 10,100 5,000 7,100 4,500 4,140 4,540 2,720 53,100
Batteries (lbs.) 1,274 2,010 630 642 396 392 756 1,267 461 541 8,369
Clothing, shoes, books (lbs.) 1,000 3,000 3,000 2,000 2,700 3,700 4,200 3,950 3,620 4,750 31,920
Paper shredding (lbs.) na na na 6,000 6,500 5,500 6,700 8,900 6,500 13,000 53,100
Bulbs (#) 234 560 249 520 303 651 317 558 764 1122 5,278
Tires (#) 10 25 8 / 14 9 12 5 27 17 6 133
Pallet recycling (#) 21 11 10 2 6 6 2 6 3 0 67
Mattresses/box springs (#) 22 35 17 6 14 26 7 15 10 9 161
Packing peanuts/pellets (cu.ft.) 22 20 18 9 20 10 10 40 20 3 172
Medicines/lotions (cu.ft.) na 10 36 24 16 16 16 16 12 12 158
Vehicles participating 275 250 175 290 225 300 221 290 330 360 2,716