ConServe Knoxville

Solid Waste Manager

Patience Melnik
(865) 215-4311

400 Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Conserve Knoxville - Inspiring Eco-Friendly Dining The City of Knoxville Solid Waste Division is pleased to share an opportunity to be a part of our Sustainable Restaurant Certification Pilot Program, ConServe Knoxville. This program is aimed at reducing environmental impacts and business operating costs through sustainable initiatives that are good for businesses and consumers alike. Our vision is to educate and support businesses that are committed to improving the whole customer experience through sustainability.

The Objective

• Reduce waste while increasing customer awareness of waste prevention.

• Educate and support businesses that take steps to reduce waste to the landfill.

• Maintain a website where consumers can find sustainable businesses to support, increasing sustainability within the City of Knoxville.

The Opportunity

• Be a part of a program that will provide real results in the push towards sustainability.

• Gain recognition for your restaurant's efforts to reduce waste.

• Be an example and a leader in sustainability in the Southeastern U.S.

The Solution

• Assess your current environmental impact and improve your practices

• Get certified through our easy certification process

• Publicize your participation with a window cling and digital certification on your website and social media outlets

Our Proposal

As a community over the last 10 years, Knoxville has significantly increased the amount of waste diverted from our landfills. Approximately 30% of the City’s waste stream is recycled or mulched for reuse. Much of this progress can be attributed to the more than 28,000 households opting to participate in single-stream recycling collection, which makes recycling easy by eliminating the need to separately sort paper, plastics, and metal products. About a third of our recycled material comes from those dedicated recyclers who take their materials to one of our five drop-off centers.

To continue pushing towards a greener future for our current and future residents, the City of Knoxville Solid Waste division would like to challenge our thriving restaurants and food outlets to reduce food waste and minimize waste sent to the landfill.

Execution Strategy

Our execution strategy incorporates proven methodologies that have been used in numerous cities across the U.S., passionate and qualified personnel, and a highly responsive support system to help you along the way to meet your goals.

How It Works

To become certified through our Sustainable Restaurant Pilot Program, businesses must:

Meet the general requirements. We chose these requirements because they are the most critical steps to take in order to be a low-waste restaurant.

Practice at least six of the optional measures. These steps increase your sustainability while offering you the flexibility to meet the standards in a way that works for your business.

Schedule a walk-through date with the Solid Waste Division. This important step helps us maintain the integrity of the program and ensure the value of your certification.

Schedule a complimentary workshop to educate your staff and you about the program, waste-reduction, and recycling. Ensure the success of the program by making sure your whole team is on board.

Receive your certificate of approval, window cling, digital logo for display. Submit digital files of your logo for inclusion on the City's ConServe Knoxville webpage.*  Let your customers know about your participation and that you care for your community.

* Certification will be granted for one year. After the first year another walk-through will be scheduled to ensure adherence to the program. If maintained, the certification will be granted for a three-year term.

Expected Results

We expect our program to provide the following results for your restaurant and your community:

Financial Benefits

• Free marketing and publicity

• Reducing waste typically helps lower operational costs

• Attracting an ever-growing number of sustainability-conscious customers

Other Benefits

Other benefits of being a part of our pilot program include

An increased morale among employees. Staff gain a sense of satisfaction by knowing they are helping to make a real, tangible difference in their community.

Increased loyalty from your customers. People want to help make a difference by doing business with community- and sustainability-minded restaurants.

The Solid Waste Division is happy to answer any questions and offer support during the certification process. Certification is designed to be fast and easy so your restaurant can get back to the business of serving your customers. We hope to help you reduce your waste, as well as recognize your existing waste-reduction efforts.

Please feel free to contact ConServe Knoxville Coordinator and Americorps member Chase Steele by email at or 865-215-2872.