Regulated Recyclable Material Ordinance

Construction and Demolition (C and D) debris is waste or excess material resulting from building new structures and from the remodeling, repair, demolition or deconstruction of existing buildings.

The Regulated Recyclable Material Ordinance (RRMO)

Orange County requires the recycling of certain materials: corrugated cardboard, clean wood (wood that has not been painted or treated) and scrap metal. 

The ordinance states that construction and demolition projects must have a waste management plan in place, waste haulers must be licensed, and that these requirements will be enforced. Read the entire ordinance:

Helpful Documents

Orange County, and the Towns of Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, on behalf of the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department, charge a fee for review and processing of Regulated Recyclable Materials Permits associated with all building permits issued. 

The Orange County Solid Waste Management Department has enforcement authority over all Regulated Recyclable Materials Permits to ensure compliance with the RRMO.

These materials must be recycled under the RRMO: 

Clean Wood Waste



Scrap lumber (2x4 type)


Mill ends

Landscaping timbers

Regular construction nails,
bolts, screws are OK



Painted or Stained Wood

Wood concrete forms with low amounts of plaster or concrete

Treated wood

Telephone poles

Wood with tar or other roofing materials

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)


Scrap Metal

Including, but not limited to cast iron tubs, aluminum gutters and siding, metal pipe, steel studs, tin roofing, and other items containing significant amounts of metal.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard has three layers; 2 flat on the outside and one wavy layer in the middle. Do not recycle cardboard with a wax coating, soaked with grease or otherwise contaminated cardboard.

It is illegal to intentionally contaminate any recyclable material as to make it non-recyclable.

Burning construction and demolition waste or household garbage anywhere in Orange County is unlawful. You can report illegal burning and dumping in Orange County to our office.

Regulated Recyclable Materials produced in Orange County must be recycled properly. Proper management options are:

  • Hauling the materials to a County certified materials reclamation facility. View a list of Certified Materials Reclamation Facilities.
  • Separating the materials for recycling at the:
    Orange County Construction and Demolition Landfill,
    1514 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill 27516
  • Separating the materials to be taken to market for reuse or resale.

Options for Recycling

Jobsite Separation: Regulated recyclable materials separated at the jobsite and transported to the Orange County Integratred Solis Waste Management facility will significantly reduce the amount of tipping fees you have to pay. You may either take the materials to the landfill yourself, or hire a licensed hauler. Browse through a list of haulers (PDF).

Mixed C and D Materials Reclamation Facilities (MRF): Builders may choose to use a mixed recycling facility, bypassing jobsite separation. Only County certified facilities may be used.  

Reuse/Donations: Regulated recyclable materials, depending on their condition, may be reused, resold, or donated to a charity. 

Deconstruction: All structures 500 square feet and larger that are to be demolished must be assessed by Solid Waste staff to determine the recyclability or reusability of materials in the structure prior to issuance of a demolition permit.

Recyclable Materials Permits

Orange County Recycling Materials Permit Application (PDF): Orange County (including Hillsborough) or the town in which you are building issues the RM permits with your building permit.

Hauler Licence Application (PDF): Construction and demolition waste haulers who operate in Orange County and use vehicles greater than 9000 pounds GVW to haul regulated recyclable materials must be licensed by the Solid Waste Management Department. Each vehicle used for this purpose must be licensed.

Enforcement & Penalties

No Mixed Waste Loads: Mixed loads of Construction and Demolition waste containing regulated materials disposed of at the Orange County landfill will be charged double the tip fee.

No Recyclable Material Permit: Individuals found to be conducting building activities without the appropriate Recyclable Material Permit are subject to a civil citation and fine.

Hauling Without a License: Individuals found hauling recyclable materials without the appropriate Recyclable Material Collector's License are subject to a civil citation and fine.

Jobsite Inspections: Solid Waste Enforcement staff regularly visit job sites to ensure compliance with the RRMO.

Verification Tags: To ensure that loads of regulated materials are reaching certified MRFs, Solid Waste Enforcement staff will place verification tags on roll-off containers, dumpsters, and other storage containers containing regulated materials mixed with other Construction and Demolition waste. These tags must be given to the scale house operator at the certified facility. View a sample verification tag (PDF).

Illegal Disposal

Unauthorized disposal, landfill disposal, burning, or hauling the materials to a non-certified facility are illegal actions and subject to civil penalties and revocation of permits.

Regulated Recyclable Materials produced in Orange County must be recycled properly. Proper disposal includes:

  • Separating the materials for recycling at the Orange County Construction and Demolition Landfill, 1514 Eubanks Rd. Chapel Hill 27516 Note: Clean dimensional lumber scraps must be 2' or longer to be recycled.
  • Separating the materials to be taken to market for reuse or resale.
  • Hauling the materials to a County certified materials reclamation facility.

Report Illegal Dumping

Certain building materials pose a threat to health and the environment and must be handled according to local, state and federal regulations.


  1. Why did Orange County pass this ordinance?
    In the late 1990’s it was recognized that the Construction and Demolition (C and D) landfill on Eubanks Road was going to be filled sometime in 2003. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners agreed to build a new C and D landfill but only if certain bulky materials (those materials that take up the most room in the landfill) were required to be recycled. As a result, the Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance went into effect on October 1, 2002.
  2. My business isn’t construction, but I still have wood, metal, and / or cardboard in my waste. Do I still need to recycle?
    This ordinance is designed to regulate not a particular industry, but certain materials. Metal, wood, pallets, and corrugated cardboard from the commercial waste stream are subject to the same recycling requirement as those produced from construction and demolition projects. The Solid Waste Department staff can help you get a recycling program set up.
  3. What about demolition waste?
    Demolition waste includes a great deal of wood and metal, both recyclable materials, but separating these materials is often difficult. Demolition waste must still be recycled if free of contaminants. But the waste would not be considered free of contaminants if it is attached to other material in a way that it is not reasonably possible to separate.