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A-Z Waste and Recycling Guide

Purpose

This directory is to help users properly dispose of, or divert items from, landfill disposal. Orange County Solid Waste Management does not promote any particular business. The mention of any business or organization does not constitute its endorsement by the County. This is only to serve as a guide and is not necessarily complete. However, if you would like an item added let us know by emailing recycling.

Reuse

Reuse is better than recycling! For used but useful, operational, and clean items consider offering them for reuse at the Salvage Sheds located at Waste and Recycling Centers (except Bradshaw Quarry). For a list of items accepted at the Salvage Sheds, please review this link. All items left at the Salvage Sheds must be clean and in working condition.

There are also many second hand stores throughout our community that accept clean items in good working order.  You can find a list of local organizations here.  If you know of an organization or individual who would accept items for reuse, repair or recycling that belong on this list, let us know by emailing recycling.

A-Z Recycle Guide


Aerosol Cans

AerosolCansTake EMPTY aerosol cans to any of the five Waste and Recycling Centers scrap metal bins, NOT the single stream containers.  

If Aerosol containers are NOT EMPTY, take to the Household Hazardous Waste collections at the Eubanks Rd or Walnut Grove Church Rd Waste and Recycling Facilities.


Aluminum Cans

CansNC State Law prohibits landfilling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. They must be recycled!

Orange County residents may include aluminum in their recycling carts or bring it to the Waste and Recycling Centers. Apartment complexes can recycle aluminum cans at their on-site recycling areas.

Businesses can recycle aluminum in the manner they recycle their co-mingled recycling.


Aluminum Foil / Pans / Pie Tins

AluminumAluminum foil, pans, and pie tins CANNOT be recycled curbside or at the Orange County 24 Hour Recycling Drop-off locations. If CLEAN and crumpled you can take them to Waste and Recycling Centers and recycle with scrap metal. Foil with excessive food should be disposed of as garbage


Aluminum Scrap and Siding


All types of clean metal must be recycled in Orange County. Visit the Construction and Demolition page for more information on the Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance.

Residents only (no business scrap metal) can bring scrap metal to any of the five staffed Waste and Recycling Centers.  Residents and businesses can bring aluminum scrap and siding, along with other metals, free of charge to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill). Painted metal is okay.


Antifreeze

AntifreezeResidential users can recycle used antifreeze at any of the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Disposing of used antifreeze and other automotive fluids (used motor oil, transmission and brake fluids) in storm drains (sewers) or drainage ditches is harmful to our waterways. Antifreeze, particularly the ethylene glycol type, when poured out or spilled on the ground can be highly toxic to animals and its sweet taste attracts them. Spent antifreeze may also contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium and benzene.


Appliances


Small household appliances in WORKING condition can be brought to a Salvage Shed located at one of the Waste and Recycling Centers (except Bradshaw Quarry).

Clean, working small household appliances may also be donated  to local non-profits and charities.


Appliances in Non-Working Condition


AI_LargeAppliances
Residents can bring up to two large appliances per day or weekend, such as washing machines and EMPTY refrigerators, to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers for recycling. Smaller non-working appliances can be recycled with "Scrap Metal". Any and all appliances brought for recycling must be empty of all food waste, dishes, containers and trash.

Residents and businesses can also take large appliances to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for recycling. Refrigerators must be EMPTY. There is no cost or limit to the number of appliances recycled at the Orange County Landfill location.

*Businesses MUST legally and safely remove any Freon or other refrigerants before bringing to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for recycling. Any and all appliances brought to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for recycling must be empty of all food waste, dishes, containers and trash.


Architectural Salvage


Bring materials in good condition to your local re-use business.

Orange County residents can bring a limited amount of building materials, construction or remodeling waste from their primary residence (no contractor waste or business waste) to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers.  

Clean wood, scrap metal, corrugated cardboard and appliances must be recycled.


Asphalt


Old asphalt, mostly free of contamination, may be taken to an asphalt company for re-batching / recycling.

The Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) may accept aggregate material free of charge. The material must be in basketball-sized pieces or smaller, inspected and approved by Orange County Disposal Operations staff before material can be accepted for free. If the material can be reused on-site then it will be accepted free of charge. 

This material will be accepted in any condition with payment of the current disposal rate. 

Please call ahead to discuss acceptance and delivery arrangements.

Disposal Operations Contact Information:

Address: 1514 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Phone: 919-968-2788


Automobiles


There are many non-profit organizations that accept cars. See list of Nonprofits and Charitable organizations.


Ballasts (from lighting)


Fluorescent and high-intensity discharge (HID) ballasts contain a small capacitor that may contain PCB’s, or a less hazardous chemical, DEPH.

Residents of Orange County can bring ballasts to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

Businesses, including non-profits and institutions, should arrange for recycling ballasts with a private company.


Batteries

Batteries

Orange County residents can bring any type of battery to any of the Orange County Solid Waste and Recycling Centers for recycling.

It is the law that LITHIUM containing batteries must be separated and the ends/terminals be taped (if button cell, tape the entire battery) before bringing to Waste and Recycling Centers.  Please only place lithium batteries in receptacles labeled for lithium batteries.

All other household (dry-cell) batteries go in a separate containers. Lithium batteries must be separated from other batteries to reduce fire risks.

The Orange County Waste and Recycling Centers also accept lead-acid batteries such as those used for autos, boats, motorcycles and lawnmowers. Please do not place lead-acid batteries in the dry-cell or lithium battery receptacles. See site attendant for assistance.

 

Bicycles


Scrap bicycles can be brought to the Waste and Recycling Centers or the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfilland placed with scrap metal for recycling. The tires do not have to be removed but if removed then the tires can be placed at the tire recycling area at the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill).  

Many area non-profits and charities also accept bicycles for reuse.


Bicycle Tires


Recycle with automotive tires at Waste and Recycling Centers, or the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill).


Boats


Boats cannot be disposed of or recycled at any Orange County Solid Waste Facility. If the boat has been dismantled into its constituent parts then the scrap metal can be recycled at the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill).

Some area non-profits and charities also accept boats.

Books


Soft cover "paperback" books can be recycled in your blue recycling carts (curbside recycling and apartment complexes). Paperbacks should be recycled with single stream recycling at the 24 Hour Recycling Drop-off locations and the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Hard cover books must have the covers and binding removed, and then the interior pages can be recycled in your blue recycling cart or with single stream recycling at the 24 Hour Recycling Drop-off locations and the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Reusable books in good condition can be brought to any of the Salvage Sheds located at the Waste and Recycling Centers (except Bradshaw Quarry).

Books in good condition may also be accepted at area non-profits and charities.  


Bubble Wrap


Many local shipping or moving companies will accept clean reusable bubble wrap, packing peanuts and other packaging materials for re-use. Be sure to call ahead to ensure that the store or business is currently accepting these materials.


Caps and Lids


Plastic caps from bottles can be recycled with plastic bottles. Leave your cap on! Recycle them curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24 Hour Recycling Drop-off locations and Waste and Recycling Centers with bottles, cans, jugs and jars in single stream recycling carts and bins.

If you take your recyclable materials to a Waste and Recycling Center we encourage you to separate your glass containers.

When recycling your glass bottles or jars please remove and discard plastic caps or corks, but you can leave metal lids on your glass containers.


Car Seats


Car seats have too much metal to be recycled with rigid plastics and too much plastic to be recycled with scrap metal.

Public Health and Safety laws prevent selling them for reuse so they cannot be donated to local charities even if they are in good condition. Car seats are not accepted at the Salvage Sheds. Please discard in your regular trash.


Carpet/Carpet Pads


Orange County residents can bring up to 60 cubic feet (approximately one half of a standard pick-up truck load) per day or weekend of old carpeting and carpet padding from their primary residence (no contractor or business waste) to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers (other than Bradshaw Quarry).

Good, clean area rugs in sizes 8x10 or less may also be donated to area non-profits and charities.


Cartridges


Copier, fax, laser, and toner cartridges can all be recycled by residential users with Orange County’s electronics recycling program.  Look for the black trailers at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Cartridge recycling may also be available at your local office supply store or through your printer manufacturer or ink supply company.  Check the companies’ websites to find out how.


Cell phones


Residents can recycle old cell phones and chargers with Orange County’s Electronics recycling program at all five of the Waste and Recycling Centers.. Remove cell phone batteries and tape the metal contact points. These batteries contain lithium and must be recycled separately at the specially marked Lithium battery recycling containers located at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Many electronics retailers also have recycling programs.

Many local non-profits and charities also accept old cell phones

Phones should be deactivated before being placed for recycling.


Chemicals


Residents should bring household chemicals to the Household Hazardous Waste collection facilities located at the Walnut Grove Church Road or Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Centers.

Materials accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facilities are: oil-based paints, solvents, cleaning materials, automotive fluids, pool chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers and other caustic, toxic, flammable or otherwise hazardous chemicals.

Residents are highly encouraged to buy only the amount of materials needed for each household or gardening project. Please see HHW page for limits on materials.     

Chemical wastes from businesses and institutions  are not accepted at the Waste and Recycling Centers.  Orange County businesses and institutions should properly dispose and/or recycle their chemical wastes through hazardous waste recycling companies.


Christmas Light Strings


Recycle with Electronics at Waste and Recycling Centers.


Clothing

AI_ClothingAndShoesClean, dry, odor-free used clothing, bedding, shoes, belts and bags can be accepted at the Eubanks Road and Walnut Grove Church Grove Waste and Recycling Centers. Torn clothing, sheets and towels are OK as long as they are clean, dry and have no musty odor. These materials should be bagged and placed in the properly marked containers.  Please ask any Waste and Recycling Center attendant for more information.  

You can donate clean clothing in good condition to local nonprofit organizations and charities.


Coat Hangers


Bent or broken wire hangers can be recycled with Scrap Metal at the Waste and Recycling Centers

Rigid opaque polypropylene plastic hangers can be recycled with Rigid Plastics at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Reuse stores, tailor shops, and some dry cleaners may accept hangers of all types in usable condition. Be sure to call the store ahead of time to ensure that they are accepting these items.


Compact Disks, Computer Disks and DVDs

CDs

Reuse is better than recycling! Many music stores will purchase used CDs and DVD’s.

Electronic media such as floppy disks, DVD’s, CD’s and jewel cases can be recycled at Waste and Recycling Centers. Look for the black trailer labeled for electronics recycling.

No audio or video tapes please as they get tangled in recycling equipment and increase the costs for recycling.


Computer Equipment

ComputerNorth Carolina State law bans the landfilling of computers and televisions, therefore they must be recycled rather than disposed of for landfilling. Residents can bring up to 5 used electronics at a time to any of the five Waste and Recycling Centers located throughout the county to be recycled. Look for the black labeled trailers. Large electronics are items such as printers, copiers, large PC towers, large server units, etc.  Please call the Orange County Solid Waste Administration Office if you have any questions.

Disposal services for Orange County businesses and non-residential institutions such as churches, schools and non-profits are available at the Orange County Electronics facility Monday-Friday from 7 am-1:30 by appointment only.  Please call the Orange County Recycling Operations Supervisor for an appointment.

Computers are not securely disposed of, so any personal information should be removed before recycling.


Concrete, Brick and Cinderblock


The Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) may accept aggregate material free of charge. The material must be in basketball-sized pieces or smaller, inspected and approved by Orange County Disposal Operations staff before material can be accepted for free. If the material can be reused on-site then it will be accepted free of charge. 

This material will be accepted in any condition with payment of the current disposal rate. 

Please call ahead to discuss acceptance and delivery arrangements.

Disposal Operations Contact Information:

Address: 1514 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Phone: 919-968-2788


Construction Waste

Construction-Demolition-WasteVisit the Construction and Demolition page for complete information on how to manage construction waste in Orange County. If you have building materials suitable for reuse, please visit the Architectural Salvage section.


Corrugated Cardboard

Cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard is banned from landfill disposal in Orange County and from trash receptacles and containers and therefore must be recycled! Always empty and flatten cardboard boxes and remove and discard all packing material. Tape and staples OK.

Residents must recycle corrugated cardboard curbside. Please follow these specifications when recycling cardboard at the curb:

If you recycle at the curb using an 18 gallon bin, you can recycle up to ten pieces at the curb per household, per collection. No more than 3 feet by 3 inches in size (hopper on the recycling truck is only 3’ in length)

If you recycle at the curb using a 95 gallon rolling cart, recycle as much cardboard as will fit loosely inside the cart. Do not jam boxes in. If materials get stuck inside the cart, they will not be recycled. Cardboard outside of the blue recycling cart will not be collected.

Most apartment complexes have separate dumpsters for corrugated cardboard. Ask the apartment manager where to recycle cardboard. Residents can use any of the County’s 24-hour recycling drop-off locations or Waste and Recycling Centers for large loads of cardboard.

Businesses with 50 boxes or less per week can use 24-hour recycling drop-off locations. Businesses can bring unlimited amounts of clean cardboard to be recycled at the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) during normal hours of operation at no charge. Boxes must be emptied of all packing materials such as expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam©) and packing peanuts but do not have to be flattened.

Pizza boxes are recyclable at the curb, apartments and at drop-off sites if they are completely empty and free of any grease and food. If the bottom has cheese adhered to it, separate the top and recycle that. Toss the cheesy side in the trash or compost it instead!


Cups, Tubs and Buckets

PlasticTubsRecycle bottle, tubs, jugs and jars in mixed "single stream" recycling, at the curb, in carts at apartment complexes, at drop off sites, and Waste and Recycling Centers. Clean and clear Number 1 PETE clamshells are now accepted as well. IF IN DOUBT, KEEP IT OUT (referring to the large number of single use plastics now available).

You can also recycle large, bulky Number 2, Number 4 and Number 5 rigid plastics at Waste and Recycling Centers. Look for the purple dumpsters marked "Rigid Plastics" and visit the Rigid Plastics web page for a complete list of items accepted in this collection. No Number 1, Number 3, Number 6 or Number 7 plastics in this collection please.

Uncoated paper cups can be composted or recycled with "All Paper" curbside, and apartment complexes. Uncoated paper cups should be recycled with single stream at drop-off locations and Waste and Recycling Centers. However, MOST PAPER cups will have a plastic or waxy liner and should be discarded in your regular trash,

Compostable cups (Number 7 PLA) are not recyclable and will only compost in a commercial composting program. They will not compost in a landfill either, where they do produce methane through anaerobic decomposition. Compost them by including with food scraps to be dropped off at the Eubanks Road and Walnut Grove Church Road Waste & Recycling Centers.

Number 6 PS "Solo" cups commonly used for social gatherings are not recyclable. Please discard them in the regular trash.

If your organization is hosting an event using disposable cups, contact our office for guidance on reducing waste.


Diesel Fuel


Residents should bring diesel fuel to the Household Hazardous Waste collection facilities located at the Walnut Grove Church Road or  Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Centers. Do not mix with oil or other liquids.


Egg Cartons


Paper cartons can be recycled with all other clean dry paper that tears at the curb, at apartment complexes, at drop-offs locations and Waste and Recycling Centers.

Donate clean egg cartons of any type to egg growers at your local farmers market for reuse.

Polystyrene (Styrofoam©) egg cartons cannot be recycled in any of the Orange County Recycling program collection areas, bins or carts.  Please dispose of these cartons with your regular trash if you are unable to find an egg grower who can reuse them.


Electronic Equipment and Scrap

Electronics2Residents can bring up to 5 large used electronics at a time to any of the five Waste and Recycling Centers located throughout the county to be recycled. Look for the black labeled trailers. Large electronics are items such as printers, copiers, large PC towers, large server units, etc. Please call the Orange County Solid Waste Offices if you have any questions.

Computers are not securely disposed of, so any personal information should be removed beforehand.

Electronics in good, working condition may also be brought to a Salvage Shed at the Waste and Recycling Centers (except the Bradshaw Quarry Waste and Recycling Center).

Remember that reuse is the highest form of recycling! Many non-profit and charitable organizations are able to accept used but usable electronic equipment, and offer them to schools, community organizations, and needy individuals. By reusing electronic equipment for its intended purpose, its useful life is extended and those who may not be able to afford equipment are able to use it. An additional benefit of reusing electronics is the conservation of energy that it would take to manufacture new equipment. DO NOT DROP OFF ELECTRONICS WHEN FACILITIES ARE CLOSED.


Fire Extinguishers


Residents may bring household sized fire extinguishers to a Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Businesses should consider purchasing rechargeable and serviceable fire extinguishers instead of cheaper "disposable" fire extinguishers. While a fire extinguisher that is rechargeable costs more in the beginning, over time a quality rechargeable fire extinguisher with a metal head will likely save you money.

 

Fluorescent Bulbs


Compact fluorescent (twirly) lights, also known as CFLs, circular fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes and ballasts may contain mercury, a hazardous material, though reduced mercury content fluorescent lamps are now available. They typically have a green metal end caps.

Orange County residents can bring a maximum of 20 residential fluorescent bulbs and other items containing mercury to the Household Hazardous Waste facility at the Eubanks Road or Walnut Grove Church Road Waste and Recycling Centers. Do not break fluorescent tubes!

For information on CFLs, including how to properly manage broken fluorescent bulbs, see FAQ (PDF) by the EPA’s Energy Star office.

Businesses and institutions are required by law to recycle fluorescent lamps if they produce more than a certain amount per year. For a list of companies that manage fluorescent lights and other mercury containing items, visit the Directory of Markets for Recycled Materials, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach.


Furniture


NON-upholstered reusable furniture in good condition can be brought to any of the Salvage Sheds located at one of the Waste and Recycling Centers (except Bradshaw Quarry). Items with fabric coverings are not accepted.  

You may be able to donate furniture in good condition to your local charity or resale shop.

Furniture that is not reusable can be disposed of by County residents in the Bulky Items section at one of the Waste and Recycling Centers


Gasoline


Bring a maximum of 20 gallons to the Household Hazardous Waste collection facilities located at the Walnut Grove Church Road or Eubanks Road Waste and Recycling Centers. Do not mix with oil or other liquids.


Glass

GlassBottlesGlass bottles and jars can be recycled with mixed "single stream" recycling curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24 Hour Recycling Drop-off locations or Waste and Recycling Centers.  If recycling at a Waste and Recycling Center we encourage you to separate glass in one of our Glass On The Side containers.

Do not recycle plate glass, mirrors, crockery, Pyrex, or lab glass! These are contaminates to the glass recycling process.


Grease, Fats and Oil

AI_CookingOilOrange County residents with 15 gallons or less of used cooking/fryer oil can bring it to the Waste and Recycling Centers at either Walnut Grove Church Road or Eubanks Road. Must be liquid oil only, no water, bacon grease or lard. You will need to pour your material into the large collection container at the site and then dispose of your used container.  

Commercial cooking oil may be able to be recycled at an area biofuels or grease recovery company.


Greeting Cards


Reuse cards by cutting off the front and mailing as a post card.

Greeting cards, except those with flocking and glitter, can be recycled with "all paper" curbside and at apartment complexes, at 24-hour recycling drop-off locations and Waste and Recycling Centers. If greeting cards have a battery powered audible message, please remove the battery and recycle separately.


Grocery Bags


Minimize paper and plastic bags by using cloth bags when you shop. If you forget your bag, reuse the bag you get from the store over and over. There is virtually no environmental benefit of choosing paper over plastic. The right answer to "Paper or Plastic?" is "Neither"!

If you do choose paper or plastic, they can both be recycled, but in different places:

Paper bags can be recycled curbside and at apartment complexes. They can also be recycled with Corrugated Cardboard at 24-hour recycling drop-off locations and Waste and Recycling Centers.

CLEAN AND DRY plastic bags and other plastic film can be recycled at the Waste and Recycling Centers at Walnut Grove Church Road and Eubanks Road. No soil, mulch, compost or dirt bags can be recycled, please dispose of these with your regular garbage. (You can use them to collect garbage before tossing them!)

Most local grocery stores also have recycling programs. Plastic bags include newspaper bags, bread bags, and dry-cleaner bags. Plastic film includes drink and toilet tissue overwrap.


Junk Mail


Junk mail and other mixed paper can be recycled with all clean, dry paper that tears curbside, at apartment complexes, commercial collections, 24-hour recycling drop-off locations and Waste and Recycling Centers. Remove all non-paper items that may be inside the envelope such as credit cards, stickers, small gist, writing pens, etc.  

For tips on reducing your junk mail, please go to our Deep Dive section.


Land Clearing Debris

brush_stump_pile_size_250

Stumps, root balls, dirt and debris derived from land clearing activity can be taken to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill). Tipping fees vary. Land clearing debris may NOT be brought to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Clean vegetative waste with no dirt can be disposed of with Yard Waste and will be charged the current tipping fee for vegetative wastes.

Clean stumps that measure no longer than 10 feet long and no larger than 12 inches in diameter can be disposed of as vegetative waste.

Large stumps, root balls, and roots mixed with dirt and/or construction materials will be charged the current Construction and Demolition tipping fee.


Magazines


Recycle glossy magazines with all other clean dry paper that tears curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24-hour recycling drop-off locations or Waste and Recycling Centers.

Unstaffed recycling drop-off locations also have "Magazine Racks" to trade used magazines in good condition.

You can also check with your physician’s office, health clubs, libraries, hair and nail salons and local elementary schools to see if they can reuse your magazines.


Mattresses


Residents of the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough should contact their town’s Public Works Department for details on curbside collection of "Bulky Items".

Residents may also bring their mattresses to the Orange County Landfill or the Waste and Recycling Centers at Walnut Grove Church Road or Eubanks Road. Residents are permitted to bring up to 4 mattress items (mattresses or box springs) per week. To dispose of more than 4 items you must take them to the Orange County Landfill, at a cost of $10 per each additional item.

Businesses may bring mattresses to the landfill for $10 per unit.

Households may  also check with area nonprofits and charities to see if they accept  lightly used mattresses and box springs


Metal / Scrap Metal

AI_ScrapMetalClean metal MUST be recycled in Orange County.

Clean metal is defined as material that is substantially metal in nature - e.g. siding, steel studs, banding from around lumber or gutters. Items containing small amounts of metal such as plastic ductwork with wound wire reinforcing are not considered scrap metal. Visit the Construction and Demolition page for more information on the Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance.

Orange County Residents can recycle up to 4.5 cubic yards (approximately one standard pick-up truck load) of scrap metal per day or weekend at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Residents and businesses can bring unlimited quantities of scrap metal for free to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill).


Mercury Containing Materials


Common household items such as fluorescent bulbs, ballasts, old thermostats and thermometers can contain mercury. Residents should bring these items to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the Waste and Recycling Centers on Walnut Grove Church Rd or Eubanks Rd.

Businesses that wish to properly dispose of materials containing mercury should visit the Directory of Markets for Recycled Material, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach for a list of certified companies.


Mixed Paper

paperMixed Paper, such as junk mail, school and office paper, notebooks (bindings removed), cereal boxes (liner removed), flat-topped (aseptic) cartons and gable-topped cartons, 6 and 12-pack boxes and other paper packaging can be recycled with mixed "single stream" recycling at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers.

No paper drink cups, tissue paper, shredded paper, or paper towels, please.


Mobile Homes / Manufactured homes

MobileHomeMobile Homes are accepted at the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfillfor $200 per section or single wide. Please call 919-968-2788 at least 24 hours ahead to make a delivery appointment.

All furniture, personal items, wall thermostats, household garbage, clothing, water heaters, HVAC units, stoves, refrigerators and other appliances MUST be removed prior to bringing for disposal.

Mobile Home recyclers are also listed in the Directory of Markets for Recycled Material, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach. Visit their webpage about House Bill 1134 that relates to abatement and recycling of mobile homes and funds available to assist.


Newspaper (and all inserts that come with the newspaper)


Recycle newspapers and inserts with single stream recycling at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers

Please remove any plastic bag overwrap and recycle separately (see Plastic Bags section).


Oil

AI_OilAndBatteries

Residents can recycle a maximum of 20 gallons or 20 containers of used motor oil at any of the Waste and Recycling Centers. Containers must have a lid and be properly secured. Materials accepted in the used oil tank include:

  • Gear oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Hydraulic fluid
No used cooking oil, antifreeze, gasoline, solvents, parts cleaner or mixed gas. Bring gasoline, solvents, parts cleaner, or mixed gas to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at Walnut Grove Church Rd or Eubanks Rd. Antifreeze is collected separately at all Waste and Recycling Centers.

Used motor oil, by NC State Law, may not be thrown away with regular trash. For more information on proper oil disposal please see our Deep Dive into Recycling.


Oil Filters


It is illegal to landfill oil filters in North Carolina.

Residents can recycle well-drained used motor oil filters at any of the Solid Waste Convenience Centers.

Businesses managing used oil filters must drain them and they must be recycled. For a list of certified disposal companies visit the Directory of Markets for Recycled Material, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach.


Oil Tanks and Drums


The Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) accepts oil tanks and drums at no charge. They will be recycled with Scrap Metal. Oil tanks must be rinsed and cut in half. Oil drums must be rinsed and the ends cut off.

Please hire a company certified for the safe removal of oil tanks.


Packaging


Shrink wrap, if clean and dry, can be recycled with plastic bags at the Waste and Recycling Centers at Walnut Grove Church Rd,Eubanks Rd, or at your local grocery store. This excludes shrink wrap used to directly cover food.

Paper packaging that is non-metallic and not coated with wax or plastic can be recycled with single stream at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers.

Clear Number 1 rigid plastic formed packaging, also known as "clamshell" packaging is now recyclable.

Styrofoam packaging is NOT recyclable. For more information see our Deep Dive into Recycling page.

Many local shipping and moving companies will accept packaging materials such as Styrofoam packing peanuts, flat sheets and block, bubble wrap, and plastic pillow packs for reuse. Be sure to call ahead to ensure that the store or business is currently accepting these materials.


Paint and Paint Cans


Paint

Orange County residents can bring a maximum of 10 gallons or 10 containers of paint to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the Waste and Recycling Centers on Walnut Grove Church Rd or Eubanks Rd.

If you have latex paint to dispose of you can safely dry the paint out at home by removing the lid and allowing the contents to aerate. Accelerate the drying process by stirring kitty litter or sand into the open can of paint. Once latex paint is thoroughly dried, residents can dispose of the cans, with the lids removed, in the regular trash.

Businesses that wish to properly dispose of paint should visit the Directory of Markets for Recycled Material, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach for a list of certified companies. 



Paint Cans
If there is only a thin layer of dried residue left in the container (less that a ¼ inch coating in the bottom of the can) the can can be recycled at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Metal paint cans can be recycled with Scrap Metal. Black plastic paint cans (with the metal handle removed) can be recycled with "Rigid Plastics" in the purple dumpsters.

Do not bring empty paint cans to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection.


Pallets

AI_WoodPallets are considered "clean wood waste" and must be recycled in Orange County. Visit the Construction and Demolition page to find out more about the Regulated Recyclable Material Ordinance. According to NC State Law they are banned from MSW landfills in North Carolina but may be accepted at other Construction Waste landfills.

Orange County residents can bring up to 4.5 cubic yards (approximately one standard pick up truck load) per day or weekend of pallets and other clean wood waste (wood that has not been painted or treated) to Waste and Recycling Centers other than Bradshaw Quarry. Only pallets are accepted at Bradshaw Quarry. Residents and businesses can bring pallets to be recycled to the Orange County Landfill.

Some local companies may also accept pallets for reuse.


Pesticides


Orange County residents can bring household insecticides and pesticides to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the Waste and Recycling Centers on Walnut Grove Church Rd or Eubanks Rd.

Reduce the amount of hazardous waste you use and try buying less toxic products. Visit the Alternatives section of the Household Hazardous Waste page for more information.

Business chemical wastes, including insecticides and pesticides, are not accepted at the Waste and Recycling Centers. Orange County Businesses should properly dispose and/or recycle their chemical wastes through licensed hazardous waste companies.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides financial assistance for the collection/recycling of used agricultural pesticide jugs and unused pesticides.


Pharmaceuticals / Prescriptions


According to the FDA, the preferred way to safely dispose of unneeded medications is to take to an area drug drop box. You can dispose of medicines at a local DEA-registered collector

There are four "Drug Drop Box" locations in Orange County for residents to drop off unwanted medications and prescriptions. Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at all four locations. They include:

Carrboro Police Department
Carrboro Century Center
100 N Greensboro St., Carrboro, NC 27510
Phone: 919-918-7397

Chapel Hill Police Department
828 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chapel Hill NC, 27514
Phone: 919-968-2760

Hillsborough Police Department
127 N Churton Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: 919-732-9381

Orange County Sheriff’s Department
106 E Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, NC
Phone: 919-644-3050


Phone Books


Recycle phone books with all other paper in mixed "single stream" recycling at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers.


Photographic Chemicals


Orange County residents can bring photographic chemicals to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the Waste and Recycling Centers on Walnut Grove Church Rd or Eubanks Rd

Please do not pour photographic chemicals down the drain. It pollutes our drinking water and our environment. Collect them and save them for safe disposal.

Businesses looking to dispose of photographic chemicals can visit the Directory of Markets for Recycled Material, provided by the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach.


Pizza Boxes


Recycle with corrugated cardboard if they are empty (no pizza or dipping sauce or plastic bits) and free of cheese and grease.

Single layer boxes (frozen pizzas usually come in the single layer boxes), if clean, can be recycled with other paper in single stream recycling.


Plastic Bags

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Plastic bags, if clean and dry, can be recycled at the Waste and Recycling Centers at Walnut Grove Church Rd,Eubanks Rd, or at your local grocery store with plastic bags. Plastic bags include newspaper bags, bread bags, and dry-cleaner bags, plastic film includes drink and toilet tissue overwrap. This excludes shrink wrap used to cover food.

Do not recycle plastic bags in any of Orange County’s mixed recycling collections programs.


Plastic Bottles

PlasticBottlesNC State Law prohibits landfilling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. They must be recycled!

All plastic Bottles except those that contained hazardous waste or motor oil (any number) can be recycled at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers. A plastic bottle/jug is defined as a container with a neck smaller than the base. Remove the pumps or sprayers and discard.


Plastic Containers


Number 1
Number 1 PETE, clear, dry, and empty plastic clamshells are now recyclable at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers.

Number 2, 4 and 5
Small non-bottle rigid plastics Number 2, 4 and 5 such as yogurt and margarine tubs, kitty litter buckets, stadium cups can also be recycled at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers.

Number 3, 6, or 7 non-bottle plastics
Cannot be recycled.

Large Rigid Plastics such as toys and totes can be recycled in the purple dumpsters at Waste and Recycling Centers, not at the curb.

For more information on plastic container recycling please see our Deep Dive into Recycling section.


Rigid Plastics


Large non-bottle plastics Number 2, 4 and 5 can be recycled at Solid Waste Convenience Centers in the purple dumpsters. Items include:

  • Black plastic drain pipe-no ABS Number 7 or PVC Number 3
  • Plastic dish drainers
  • Plastic drums - must be empty, remove both ends
  • Plastic flower pots - larger than one pint only, no dirt
  • Plastic garbage cans
  • Plastic hangers - opaque tubular type only, not wire hangers or clear plastic hangers with metal hooks or clips
  • Plastic laundry baskets
  • Plastic lawn furniture - no PVC Number 3
  • Plastic milk crates
  • Plastic nursery trays - must be rigid, no soft bubble packs
  • Plastic pet carriers - remove metal gate
  • Plastic recycling bins
  • Plastic soda crates
  • Plastic totes and tote lids
  • Plastic toys - no metal axles or battery operated toys (recycle battery operated toys with electronics at Solid Waste Convenience Centers instead).  Remove the batteries and recycle separately.
  • Plastic buckets - remove metal handles if possible
    Please Note: Small rigid plastic such as jugs and tubs should be recycled with single stream recycling at the curb, at drop-off sites and Solid Waste Convenience Centers.
  • Plastic cups - no Number 6 (Solo cups)


Scrap Metal

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Scrap metal must be recycled in Orange County. Visit the Disposal Operations page for more information on the Regulated Recyclable Materials Ordinance.

Orange County residents can bring up to 4.5 cubic yards (approximately one standard pick up truck load) of scrap metal per day or weekend to the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Residents and businesses can bring unlimited quantities of metal for free to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill). Items should be all or substantially metal. Electrical wire is also accepted.


Shoes

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You can donate shoes in good condition to your local non-profit or charity or place in the clothing boxes at Eubanks Road and Walnut Grove Church Waste and Recycling Centers.


Shredded Paper


Shredded paper CANNOT be placed in the Orange County recycling programs, containers bins or carts. Shredded paper should be thrown away with garbage or recycled at Shred-A-Thon events.

Orange County Recycling hosts four Shed-A-Thons per year, two in the spring and two in the fall, where you can bring un-shredded confidential materials to be processed on site and recycled.

Due to COVID-19 our April 25th and May 2nd Shred-A-Thons have been postponed, and all Shred Center operations cancelled until further notice. Please check back to the website for updates.


Smoke Detectors


There are two types of smoke detectors. Ionization detectors contain a small amount of americium-241 - a radioactive element.

Photoelectric detectors can be safely disposed of in the trash. Be sure to remove the battery from detector and recycle before disposal. See Batteries


Sports Equipment


Small sports equipment is accepted at the Salvage Sheds at the Waste and Recycling Centers (except Bradshaw Quarry). No large equipment (such as treadmills), safety equipment (such as helmets) or shoes are accepted.

Or, you can donate sports equipment in good condition to your local non-profit or charity.


Steel Cans


Recycle with mixed "single stream" recycling curbside, at the curb, apartment complexes, 24-hour recycling drop-offs and Waste and Recycling Centers. Labels are okay.

Metal lids from can are small and can be hard to recycle. To ensure that the lids get recycled you can put loose lids in an empty can and pinch the can closed to contain the loose lids. You can include lids such as those from beer bottles and other glass bottles or jars.


Styrofoam


Also known as Number 6 expanded polystyrene or EPS. Expanded polystyrene constitutes less than 1% by weight of the solid waste stream. It is a high volume, low value, low weight material and Orange County does not have recycling programs in place for it.

Many local shipping and moving companies will accept packaging materials such as Styrofoam© and packing peanuts for reuse. Be sure to call ahead to ensure that the store or business is currently accepting these materials.


Syringes


There is no local program to recycle used syringes. Dispose of used syringes in a certified "sharps" container or use a thick plastic puncture resistant container such as a plastic peanut butter jar or laundry detergent bottle and dispose of in trash. Don’t use glass as it might break. Cap the used syringe if possible, drop it in the container, screw lid on tightly, and then place it in your regular trash. NEVER PUT BOTTLES FULL OF SYRINGES IN THE RECYCLING!

Download this helpful poster (PDF) to share with your healthcare community and ask your doctor’s office or other health care provider if they can help you with syringe disposal.


Textbooks


Bookstores and thrift stores are not interested in taking used textbooks. There are online textbook collection companies that accept used textbooks.

UNC-Chapel Hill conducts a book drive in May at the end of each academic year and will accept used textbooks on campus at that time. Contact their Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling for more information. 


Textiles


Clean, dry, odor-free used clothing, bedding, shoes, belts and bags can be accepted at the Eubanks Road and Walnut Grove Church Grove Waste and Recycling Centers. Torn clothing, sheets and towels are OK as long as they are clean, dry and have no musty odor. These materials should be bagged and placed in the properly marked containers. Please ask any Waste and Recycling Center attendant for more information.  

Or you can donate clean textiles to your local non-profit or charity. For most charities you may include, separated from usable clothing, worn out sheets, towels or clothing not fit to wear, IF items are clean, dry and odor free.  Contact before donating for specific guidelines.


Tires

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Residents can bring up to 5 automotive or bicycle tires per month to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers or to the Disposal Facility.

The North Carolina Division of Waste Management administers a comprehensive program to manage scrap tires. This program prevents illegal dumping of tires by providing an infrastructure to safely collect, store, and recycle scrap tires.

An advance disposal fee is charged when new tires are sold. The proceeds are distributed to each county to pay for collection and recycling of tires.  Each load of more than five tires must be accompanied by a completed scrap tire certification form for free disposal eligibility. 

Tires not covered by the advance disposal fee can be accepted at the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for $100 per ton.

Please remove all tires from the rims beforehand.


Toner Cartridges


Copier, Fax, Laser, and Toner cartridges can all be recycled with Orange County’s electronics recycling program. Look for the black trailers at the Waste and Recycling Centers.

Cartridge recycling may also be available at your local office supply store or through your printer manufacturer or ink supply company.


White Goods (aka Large Appliances)

AI_LargeAppliancesResidents can bring up to two large appliances per day or weekend, such as washing machines and EMPTY refrigerators, to any of the Waste and Recycling Centers for recycling. Smaller non-working appliances can be recycled with "Scrap Metal". Any and all appliances brought for recycling must be empty of all waste foods, dishes, containers and trash.  

Residents and businesses can also take large appliances to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for recycling. Refrigerators must be EMPTY. There is no cost or limit to the number of appliances recycled at the Orange County Landfill location.

*Businesses MUST legally and safely remove any Freon or other refrigerants before bringing to the Orange County Landfill (Disposal Facility) for recycling. Any and all appliances brought to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill) for recycling must be empty of all waste foods, dishes, containers and trash.


Wood Waste

AI_WoodClean Wood (wood that has not been painted or treated) must be separated and recycled in Orange County. Visit the Construction and Demolition page to find out more about the Regulated Recyclable Material Ordinance.

Orange County residents can bring up to 4.5 cubic yards (approximately one standard pick-up truck load) per day or weekend of pallets and other clean wood waste (wood that has not been painted or treated) to Waste and Recycling Centers (Pallets only at Bradshaw Quarry). Residents and businesses can bring pallets to be recycled to the Orange County Disposal Facility (Landfill).

Wood that has been painted or treated, including plywood and particle board, may not be mixed with clean wood. Painted, treated wood, particle board and plywood are Construction and Demolition waste.


Yard Waste

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Compost at home and make your own organic fertilizer to enhance gardens and landscapes! Orange County Solid Waste Management sells compost bins known as the "Earth Machine" for $50 -cash or check ONLY (price subject to change) at the administrative office, 1207 Eubanks Road Chapel Hill, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  OUR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19.

Orange County residents can bring up to 4.5 cubic yards (approximately one standard pick up truck load) per day or weekend of yard waste to Waste and Recycling Centers. Tree trunks must be 12in diameter or less. Larger items and root balls are not accepted at the Waste and Recycling Centers and must be taken to the Orange County Landfill.

Alternatively, if you live in a single family residence within the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill or Hillsborough, you can contact your Public Works Department to find out how they collect your yard waste from the curb. Contact information includes:

Carrboro Public Works
Phone: 919-918-7425
Email Carrboro Public Works

Chapel Hill Public Works
Phone: 919-968-2796
Email Chapel Hill Public Works

Hillsborough Public Works
Phone: 919-732-1270, ext. 78