What is Recyclable in Raleigh?

Guest blogger – Jessica

It is important to recognize that different municipalities have different rules for recycling. This is due to the variety of recycling markets throughout North Carolina. Recycling is based on supply and demand and is part of a global market. As long as there is a need for a product that can be made from recycled materials, there will be a need for those materials to be recycled.

Local and state governments play a role in recycling through banning various recyclable materials from landfills, and in some cases establishing laws requiring residents to recycle and/or compost. In North Carolina, items that are currently banned from landfills are:
-Oil and oil filters
-Plastic bottles
-Wooden pallets
-Yard waste
-White goods (appliances)
-Aluminum cans
-Lead-acid batteries
-Oyster shells

Having the luxury of curbside recycling makes the recycling process considerably more convenient. It is important to know what materials your local recycling facilities accept to make the process less stressful for everyone. For Raleigh residents, the following items are acceptable in your curbside bin:
-newspaper and all inserts
-white paper, including junk mail
-corrugated cardboard pieces no larger than 3' x 3' in size
-paperboard, chipboard and paper tubes
-steel food cans
-aluminum beverage cans
-aluminum foil and trays (must be completely free of food debris)
-plastic bottles
-plastic beverage rings
-glass food and beverage containers
-gable top cartons
-aseptic (drink) boxes

Additionally, large appliances (white goods) can be picked up for a fee of $50, or you can take them to a Wake County Multi-Material Drop-Off Facility free of charge. A service is offered for recycling computer equipment conveniently at your curbside as well, though an appointment must be made first. For additional information on recycling in Raleigh, please visit: http://bit.ly/bYTpSa.

A common recycling misconception is that if the item is not accepted through your curbside bin, the item is not recyclable. There are many companies that recycle specific materials. For example, plastic grocery bags are NOT accepted in curbside bins, though many grocery stores offer collection sites for the bags to be recycled. This is true for other items as well, so if you are not sure, a little research may be necessary and can go a long way.

Some items that are commonly mistaken for being recyclable in Raleigh are Styrofoam products (like egg cartons), pizza boxes (not allowed due to food contamination) and plastic tubs.

For other North Carolina municipalities, recycling information can be found at: http://nc.myecoville.com/ecosearch
More information for recycling programs and banned materials can be found at:


Bianca Howard said...

Thanks for the shoutout about Raleigh Recycling! The information is correct, but the logo is outdated. Our "new" logo has a snazzy image of the downtown skyline. More importantly, our phone number is 996-6890, not 831-6890 as depicted in the old logo.

RE3.org said...

Thanks so much for pointing that out. I've removed the logo.

Anonymous said...

Our business 1st used Staples who wouldn't take a few of the items we had and seemed a bit disorganized. We then used on several occasions a Raleigh based company called TechnologyRecycler.Net - http://www.technologyrecycler.net They picked up all of the electronics, computers, monitors, laptops and printers we needed to recycle and provided a recycling certificate for accounting and IT. We have dropped off some smaller loads of items as well from time to time.

I prefer dealing with companies instead of the landfill as it seems that they only take a limited number of items and everything is just thrown in boxes. At least at places like TechnologyRecycler.Net and even Staples the stuff is handled with a bit more care which means that some of the useable items might find a second home instead of being destroyed (such a waste).