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  • Waste Matters Spring 2018 Newsletter has been published and delivered! Click here for an electronic copy.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility will open at Eubanks Rd. Waste and Recycling Center August 23rd.

On August 23rd, the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection facility will open at its new location, the Eubanks Rd. Waste & Recycling Center (WRC). The current location on the south side of Eubanks Rd. will close permanently on August 21st at 6:00 PM.

The HHW facility will be open the same hours as the Eubanks WRC: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM; Saturday: 7:00 AM-5:00 PM; and Sunday: 1:00 PM-6:00 PM.  The Center is closed on Wednesdays, so there will no longer be HHW collection on Wednesdays.  Please be advised that there will be no HHW collection on August 22nd, to allow one day for transition.  

The HHW facility is available to Orange County residents with paint, pesticides, cleaners, chemicals, fluorescent lights and other toxic or harmful products.  Orange County businesses or other non-residential entities that produce less than 220 pounds of HHW /month are also eligible, but they must call or email the Solid waste Management Department for an appointment first.

Orange County Solid Waste Facility Scale House moves to north side of Eubanks Rd. August 22nd

As of August 22nd, at 7:00 AM, the scales at the entrance of the Solid Waste Management Facility will open on the north side of Eubanks Rd. The new scale location will be on the same side of the road where commercial and non-residential entities, and residents with oversized loads, go to:

  • Recycle corrugated cardboard, scrap metal, large appliances, yard waste, and tires
  • Dispose of wastes in the Construction & Demolition Landfill
  • Drop off mattresses and box springs

The scales weigh and calculate costs for vehicles entering the facility, and provides the gateway for the purchase of mulch and compost.  This move comes in conjunction with a new name, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility.  Tipping fees will remain the same, and all loads must be covered upon entering and leaving the Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility gates.   Household Hazardous Waste collection users will no longer need to cross the scales to access that facility, as the HHW facility will open within the Eubanks Rd. Waste and Recycling Center on August 23rd.

 YOU CAN reduce waste, support reuse, maximize recycling, and decrease stress by using the information below!

 RECYCLE METAL CANS, CLEAN & DRY PAPER, PLASTIC BOTTLES AND TUBS, GLASS BOTTLES AND JARSin your blue apartment carts.  Aluminum cans and plastic drink bottles must not be landfilled, per NC State Law! Recycle those for sure. Paper includes newspapers, magazines, notes, junk mail, cereal boxes, juice boxes and milk cartons. Pizza boxes are OK free of cheese & grease.  No ceramic, mirror, or window glass—bottles and jars only.  NEVER leave recycling in plastic bags- place recyclables loose in the carts. Bring clean, dry plastic bags to local grocery stores.

CORRUGATED CARDBOARD BOXES: Corrugated cardboard (wavy inner layer) is banned from the trash in Orange County. It must be recycled! Use dumpsters specifically designated for Cardboard at your complex or at Orange County’s 24-hour recycling drop-off sites, not in the blue roll carts (they will fill up fast)!  Boxes should be empty & flat.  Tape is OK. Remove and discard, or donate to UPS, all Styrofoam or bubble wrap.

HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD WASTES (HHW): Paint, cleaners, bug spray, hair spray, batteries, automotive fluids, fluorescent bulbs and other hazardous items should not be landfilled. Share unused materials with a friend or bring them to one of two HHW collections. Eventually, the collection located at 1514 Eubanks Road, open M-F, 10AM-6PM and Saturdays 7AM-12PM will move across the street, inside the Waste and Recycling Center.

ELECTRONICS can be recycled at Solid Waste and Recycling Centers during operating hours. Bring computers, monitors, peripherals, televisions, copiers, toner cartridges, stereos, CD players, VCRs and other electronics and non-working appliances with a cord.  CD’s and DVD’s are recyclable too. No video or audio tapes please!  

CELL PHONES: The Compass Center for Women and Families accepts used cell phones and chargers to assist their clients. Phones are reprogrammed and reused, or recycled.  Cell phone drop boxes are located, among other places, at the OC Seymour Senior Center on Homestead Road, and the UNC Women’s Hospital Beacon Program.

 USABLE ITEMS such as clothing, furniture, books, housewares, small appliances are needed by our various local charitable organizations: PTA Thrift Stores, Chapel Hill; Club Nova Thrift Shop, Carrboro; Orange Congregations in Mission, Hillsborough; or Good Will Stores in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.  Used but useful household items (no clothes!) can be left at “Salvage Sheds” at four of the Waste and Recycling Centers

LARGE FURNITURE, BUILDING MATERIALS AND FIXTURES in good condition can go to the Habitat-for-Humanity ReStore in Chapel Hill.  Email for pickup possibilities.         

BULKY ITEMS TO BE DISCARDED such as broken furniture or mattresses: talk to your apartment manager or your Town Public Works Department regarding proper disposal options.  PLEASE don’t dump and run!

UNOPENED FOOD The Interfaith Council accepts unopened canned or dry food and personal care items for their clients at the Douglas Bldg. 110 West Main St., Carrboro, 919-929-6380 x22.

Zero-Waste Moveout Guide Poster

Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Center newly remodeled with new features and services is now open!

Come visit the remodeled and improved Waste and Recycling Center on Eubanks Rd with NEW FEATURES:

• Lower level containers for bulky items for easier disposal
• Compactors to increase hauling efficiency
• Paved surfaces throughout the center
• Improved traffic flow to increase safety for all users

• Food waste and cooking oil collection
• Used textile collection
• Plastic bag recycling
The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection will soon be situated inside the Eubanks Rd. Waste and Recycling Center, but that time is not quite yet. In the meantime, please continue to bring HHW to the facility location on the south side of Eubanks Rd. HHW hours at this location are Monday-Friday from 10AM-6PM and Saturdays 8AM-12PM.  We apologize for the inconvenience this delay might cause HHW users. 

Eubanks Center Brochure


Mattresses and box springs are now accepted at the Walnut Grove Church Rd. Waste & Recycling Center and at the Orange County Landfill, and at the Eubanks Rd. Waste and Recycling Center.  Residents at 1514 Eubanks Rd. will be asked to bring mattresses to the OC Landfill location during hours when that facility is open.  There is no charge for residents, but there is a LIMIT FOUR PIECES PER PERSON PER DAY OR WEEKEND PERIODCommercial entities will be charged $10/unit at the Orange County Landfill. Mattresses that are dropped off at the landfill location will be recycled, rather than taken directly to a transfer station.

A mattress is defined as a piece of bedding with a spring in it.  Futon pads, crib beds, and other bedding without springs can be discarded with "Bulky Items" at all Waste and Recycling Centers. 

High Rock Waste and Recycling Center Improvement Plan Summary and FAQ based on Public Meeting comments, held on 
July 2017

Orange County expresses sincere appreciation to the Walters Family who has hosted this Waste and Recycling Center since 1993.  The size of the property they have made available for this activity will not change, though favorable negotiations are currently underway to continue the lease agreement with the County well into the future.

District Center/Neighborhood Center concept:

Approximately 5 years ago, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners agreed on a plan to create two “District Centers” that would be upgraded to have just about all of the Solid Waste services available anywhere for residents to use.  The first of such district centers exists at Walnut Grove Church Rd. and the second District Center is currently under construction on Eubanks Rd.  According to this plan, the other three Waste and Recycling Centers in Orange County would be retrofitted to be what is termed “Neighborhood Centers”.  They would provide basic waste and recycling services, efficiently managed, and the slimmed down services would offset the cost of the expanded services at the “District Centers”. The large district centers were designed to not only to maximize waste management and diversion options for residents, they are also designed to manage the number of residents that would come to use the services no longer available at the “Neighborhood Centers”.

The first of the centers to be remodeled using the “Neighborhood Center” model would be High Rock Rd. Center.  Construction would begin after Eubanks Rd. Center was completed, as soon as weather permits in early 2018. The proposed changes include paving the site, and having a well and small septic to improve the sanitary conditions for the employees, having compactors for household trash, corrugated cardboard and commingled recyclables.  Because of the additional space needed for the compactor, and consistent with the “Neighborhood Center” concept, the following services would be removed:

  • Tires
  • Yard Waste
  • Clean Wood
  • White Goods (aka large appliances)
  • Large Bulky items
  • Rigid Plastics 

Center users have been asked to provide a simple ranking 1-6 of the above six services with #1 being the highest use, and #6 being the lowest.   If you use the High Rock Rd. Center and are interested in ranking these services in order of their use for you, or providing any other comments please do so by contacting Orange County Solid Waste Management: 919-968-2788 or email  The Department will be making recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners later this fall.

The Center would have new services added:

  • Food Waste collection for composting
  • Cooking oil collection
  • Textile recycling
  • Plastic bag and film recycling

Question: If all of these services are removed, where is the closest place to bring the listed materials?

Answer:  Walnut Grove Church Rd. Waste and Recycling Center is about 10 miles away from the High Rock Rd. Center and has a full suite of services, and in addition a Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

Question: All of the services fit now, why will they not fit after the Center is paved?

Answer:  Installing the compactors will require space for large trucks to back up to the boxes to lift them and load them for removal, after staging the empty box to replace the full one they are removing.   The trucks need adequate room to turn and back up.

There is potentially some room for a few of the services to be added back in, along the back of the Center, and still allow adequate truck space, but not room for all.

Question:  Paving will increase the impervious surface and increase the amount of runoff.  Also it is very expensive and will require upkeep.

Answer:  The current gravel surface is already considered an impervious surface and is permitted as such.  The buffer for runoff is adequate for the footprint of the site, and will remain so if the site is paved.  It is much easier to clean up spills from asphalt as opposed to gravel, so less spillage from the motor oil and antifreeze collection  will be going into the runoff water.  Asphalt will reduce the amount of particulates in the air, reducing dust and improving air quality for workers and users, and will reduce suspended particulates in the water, so paving may actually improve water quality running off the site. 

Gravel has to be replaced and repaired on a regular basis.  That cost will be eliminated with paving.

Additionally, flat asphalt is easier for users with physical constraints to move about on.

Question:  Very few people need the new services that are going in, and all of the services that are being removed are ones that are used. 

Answer:  The new collections are inexpensive for the County to add and service, and take up very little space. These new additions would not be taking up any space that the large collection containers the other (potentially removed) services utilize. 

Question: Will the Solid Waste Programs Fee go up as a result of these changes.

Answer:  No, the changes are to accommodate growth while maintaining services County-wide, improving hauling efficiency, lowering site maintenance requirements and providing sanitary facilities for staff.

Question: Are these changes related to the expansion of the rural curbside recycling program? 

Answer:  No—generally people recycle more when it is convenient for them.  The rural curbside recycling program is part of an effort to make recycling more convenience for more people.  Some people still find it more convenient to bring their recyclable materials to the Centers.

Question: Won’t switching to one single compactor for trash and recycling slow down traffic and cause backups?

Answer:  Traffic will be able to go on either side of the compactors.  Center operators will be stationed at the compactor as they will need to run the machine to clear the hopper on a regular basis, and will help keep the traffic flowing.   People might find they need to load their vehicles differently to account for a new configuration at the Center.  Experience at Walnut Grove shows that users  get accustomed to the new configuration  pretty quickly and that helps traffic flow smoothly.

 Question: How long will the Center be closed during construction?

Answer: A temporary site will be established next to the actual site that will continue some of the current services such as household trash, cardboard and mixed recyclables.  Other materials may be included, as planning is ongoing.

Question: Will the completed site require additional staff to be hired?

Answer: No additional staff are expected to be needed for the finished site.


Residents that normally use the Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Center are asked to alternatively use the fully-operational sites at Ferguson Road. or Walnut Grove Church Road, bring their mixed recycling and corrugated cardboard to one of the 24-hour recycling drop-off sites, the closest at Cedar Falls Park on Weaver Dairy Road.  Tires, large appliances and corrugated cardboard can be taken to the Orange County Landfill at no charge during hours of operation, Monday- Friday 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.  Batteries and automotive wastes can go to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility on Eubanks Road, Monday- Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

We sincerely thank our users, nearby residents and businesses for their patience during the construction period.

Similar to the Walnut Grove Church Road Waste and Recycling Center remodel completed several years ago, the new and improved Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Center will have all paved surfaces to control dust, mud, and run-off.  There will be lower level containers to ease disposal of bulky items, appliances, clean wood, tires, metal, and yard waste.  New compactors for household garbage, cardboard, and mixed recycling will increase space and hauling efficiency, while separate routing for County collection trucks will improve flow for residents and safety for all.  There will also be additional materials added to the suite of recycling services, including food waste drop-off, used cooking oil, textiles, plastic bags, and an improved “salvage shed”.


Twenty five years of recycling in Orange County

Twenty five years ago this fall Orange County and its municipalities launched curbside recycling in all three towns – Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.  While there had been a drop-off site program and other publicly funded efforts for more than two years preceding the launch of curbside, 1989 could be said to mark our transition to ‘serious’ recycling joining the ranks of other early adopters of broadly based around the nation.

Thus we use this twenty-fifth anniversary celebration as a time to mark TWENTY-FIVE program accomplishments and benchmarks that we can celebrate as part of our success in reducing waste landfilled and making the transition towards a materials management program instead of just solid waste management. 

1) 1989 Distribution of over 12,000 blue bins to all single family homes throughout Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough to launch the weekly curbside recycling program

2)  1990 First comprehensive waste composition study at the Orange County Landfill conducted to see ‘what’s in our garbage

3)  1992 Pilot rural curbside recycling and downtown Chapel Hill ‘bar glass’ recycling programs began

4)  1993 Creation of County-wide system of staffed Solid Waste Convenience Centers for management of residential waste and recycling, closing 19 unstaffed ‘green box’ sites

5)  1994:  initiation of apartment complex recycling program and beginning of County-wide comprehensive solid waste planning process

6)  1995 Chapel Hill Solid Waste Management Department created to manage recycling program and landfill facilities

7)  1995 Pilot food waste recovery program contracted to two small hog farmers

8)  1996 Unlined landfill closed and modern lined landfill constructed and opened

9)  1996 Ban on landfilling commercial corrugated cardboard enacted in Orange County

10)  1996 Four-county (Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake) cooperative household hazardous waste program began and Orange County builds permanent hazardous waste drop-off site

11)  1997 Planning process results in County wide adoption of 61% waste reduction goal

12)  1998 Food waste collection expands using large scale composting contractor for collection

13)  2000 Orange County takes over operation of landfill and recycling from Town of Chapel Hill and creates inter-local agreement to manage program

14)  2002 Orange County achieves 45% waste reduction, the first County in North Carolina to surpass State’s goal of 40% waste reduction

15)  2002 Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance initiated to require solid waste plan of all new development and banning cardboard, scrap metal and clean wood from disposal

16)  2002 First electronics recycling drop-off events in Orange County

17)  2003 Conversion of Household Hazardous Waste collection from once a month to four days per week operation

18)  2004 Conversion of electronics recycling program to permanent drop-off site, eventually expanding to six locations county-wide

19)  2004 Three R recycling fee initiated to ensure comprehensive, predictable, and  equitable financing of recycling programs

20)  2006 Addition of mixed paper to curbside recycling and apartments, conversion to 2-stream recycling instead of source separated program

21)  2006 Corrugated cardboard banned from residential waste

22)  2012 Conversion to single stream recycling, leads to overall 16% increase in curbside recycling collection

23)  2012 County reaches 59% waste reduction, highest in the State

24)  2013 Orange County MSW Landfill closes, and landfill gas recovery program begins in conjunction with UNC

25)  2014 Conversion of urban curbside recycling to roll carts leads to 29% increase in recycling collection, and planning for (voluntary) conversion of rural program to roll carts begins.

Compost Bins for Sale

Cost: $50 cash or check only

Orange County Solid Waste Administration

1207 Eubanks Rd. Chapel Hill, 27516

Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00p.m.

You can make your own rich crumbly compost at home with your yard waste, brown leaves, and kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps. To learn more about the "Earth Machine" outdoor composting unit that we sell, visit


Compost Demonstration Sites

There are two outdoor composting demonstration sites located in Orange County where you can learn more about outdoor composting and observe it "in action":

  • Orange County Solid Waste Management Administrative Office, 1207 Eubanks Rd. Chapel Hill.
  • Chapel Hill Community Center Learning Garden (behind the rose garden) on S. Estes Drive.

Orange County Solid Waste provides composting education classes using these sites at least four times per year, twice in the spring and fall, but they are for public educational use as well. OCSWM can provide outdoor composting instruction at these locations, or help set up and teach outdoor composting to function for interested organizations, schools or businesses. These classes are free to the Orange County public, contact if you are interested.