Curbside Recycling

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Curbside recycling from single-family homes in Orange County is collected in two separate programs.  Click on the program link for schedules and other program-specific details:
Urban Curbside Recycling is  for residents who live within the Town limits of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro.  Urban Curbside recycling is collected every week in blue carts only.
Rural Curbside Recycling is collected every other week in 100% of Orange County outside of Town limits (aka the unincorporated area).  Rural curbside customers can choose to use a County-issued blue cart with a black lid, or orange bins.  

Click here for the list of materials collected at the curb in Orange County
Listen to the Commingle Jingle by Tim Smith and the Recyclettes (Turn on your speakers!)
2018 holiday schedule
Special Collection Form for Disabled Customers
Cart Set-out Guide, to help ensure proper and efficient cart collection
Download this printable poster of the top three contaminants in our collection!

How do I get a blue recycling cart? 
Call (919) 968-2788 or email our office to get on our delviery list.  Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. 

Contact our office
 if your cart is missing or it needs a repair.  Cart replacement costs $60, however there is no charge for a one time replacement if the loss or damage is through no fault of the household. If resident would like to lease an additional cart they may do so for an annual fee of $60.

How do I get orange recycling bins? If you prefer smaller 18-gallon orange bins for your curbside collection, request a delivery, or residents can pick them up Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Solid Waste Management Department Administration office: 1207 Eubanks Rd, Chapel Hill NC 27516. (just west of the Orange County Landfill).

Each household can receive two bins at no charge. Replacement bins for lost or damaged bins are available at no cost. Additional bins may be purchased for $7.00 from our office. You may use any other rigid plastic container similar in size and shape to the curbside recycling bin such as a laundry basket or a milk crate.

Recycling bins and carts are the property of Orange County and should remain at the address where they were issued unless you purchased them yourself.

Have your recycling at the curb by 7AM on the morning of your collection day, or put it out the night before to ensure prompt collection. Remove your cart or bins from the curb within 24 hours after it is picked up. 

If your container(s) were not picked up on your collection day but were out by 7AM, let our office know as soon as possible by calling (919) 968-2788.

If you have a blue recycling cart, please use only your blue recycling cart. Recycling collection staff will not collect carts and bins together from a single household.

Leave your recycling loose and free!  Never place bagged recyclables inside your cart or bins.

If you collect your recyclables in a plastic bag, remove recyclables from the bag before placing them in your bin.  Discard the bag elsewhere.

Never place plastic bags or styrofoam or other garbage in your curbside recycling.

Use your curbside recycling bins and carts for Bottles, Cans, Jars, Jugs, Tubs, and All Paper, all together in a single stream.  See the list below for details.



Tubs, cups and buckets #2, #4 and #5

Tubs, cups and buckets and other rigid non bottle plastics #2, #4, #5 only.

#1, #6 or #7 boxes, clamshells, or styrofoam, no #7 PLA, no plastic bags or other non-rigid plastics. Recycle clean dry plastic bags at grocery stores.
Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Jars
Plastic bottles have a neck smaller than the base.  Leave the cap on! Flatten bottle or jug if possible and put the cap back on.
It is against NC State Law to landfill plastic drink bottles.
No plastic bags or other non-rigid plastics, No clamshells or Styrofoam.


Glass Bottles and Jars

Clear, brown, green and blue glass bottles and jars only.  Rinse clean. Lids and labels are OK. No dishes, ceramics, cookware, window glass, drinking glass, light bulbs, pyrex or mirrors


Metal Cans

Aluminum and steel/tin food or beverage cans.  Tuck metal lids inside cans and crimp the edge shut.
It is against NC State Law to landfill aluminum drink cans.
No scrap metal, pots, pans or car parts.


Aerosol Spray Cans

Must be completely empty.  Do not puncture or flatten.  


Aluminum Foil and Trays

Must be clean. Rinse off any food residue and crush what you can to save space. No foil with food or lots of grease on it.

paper envweb

Mixed Paper

Any clean, dry paper that tears. Junk mail, office and school paper, manila folders. Envelope windows and staples are OK.

Shredded paper with mixed paper is OK if it is in a paper bag.

No tissue or paper towels. No wax coated or laminated paper. Remove credit cards or other plastic items from junk mail.


Single layer cardboard

Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls, frozen food boxes, etc. Remove any plastic or foil lining.   

 Cardboard stack   Corrugated Cardboard (includes pizza boxes, if they are clean and empty)

Empty and flatten boxes. If you are using a recycling cart, please be sure corrugated cardboard fits LOOSELY inside your cart!
If you recycle using orange bins, pieces must be no larger that 3'x3', limit 10 unless they fit inside your bin. 
NO plastic or Styrofoam packaging!  Pizza boxes must be completely empty and free of cheese and grease.


Food and drink cartons of all types

Flat-topped and gable topped drink boxes.  Plastic spouts are OK.  Rinse clean and flatten.  



Newspaper and associated inserts.  Remove plastic bags or rubber bands before recycling.



24-hour recycling drop-off sites have Magazine Racks for the reuse and sharing of magazines in good condition.  



Phone books and other paperback books are OK. Must be clean. Remove from plastic bags before recycling.  No hardcover books.

 Thank you for recycling!