Orange County home page

Curbside Recycling

Altogether now-- recycle in a SINGLE STREAM! There is no need to separate your recyclables-- commingle them all together at the curb.

Click here for recyclable material details.

Listen to the Commingle Jingle by Tim Smith and the Recyclettes.

Click here for the holiday schedule.

Join our list-serv for monthly updates.

Click here for the Special Collections Form, effective January 1, 2015 for disabled customers.

Click here for the Proper Cart Set-out Guide, to help ensure proper and efficient cart collection!

Urban (weekly) recycling collection

Residents within the town limits of Hillsborough, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill (including the portion of Chapel Hill within Durham County) in single-family homes or duplexes qualify for weekly curbside collection of recycling in 95-gallon roll carts. If you live within town limits find your recycling day on the alphabetical street directory:

Click here for a .pdf version of the current Urban Curbside recycling guide. If you would like a card mailed to you, please email us.


Keep your old blue bins for household use, or recycle them in the carts on your recyclign day through the month of July 2014, but after June 30, only carts will be collected at the curb.

  • Place your cart at the curb with 3 feet clearance from cars, trees and other objects.
  • Place cart with the cart lid opening toward the street. This will enable the arm to lift, and the lid to open, when the cart gets tipped into the truck.
  • Line up the front of the cart so it is flush along the curb.
  • Place only the materials listed below in your cart.  Items must fit loosely and the lid must be able to fully close. 
  • DO NOT BAG recycling in a plastic trash bag. Items must be loose inside cart.
  • Any items left on the ground will not be recycled.
  • Empty, flatten, cut or fold corrugated cardboard boxes so they fit loosely inside cart.
  • NO plastic bags or garbage, please.

How do I get a replacement cart, or a repair?

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 an urban resident would like to lease an additional cart they may do so for an annual fee of $60.

More URBAN CURBSIDE RECYCLING CART information is on this FAQ document.


Rural bi-weekly (every other week) recycling collection

orange bin cart

NOTICE: if you live in the rural recycling service area and would like a rollcart for your curbside recycling service please call 919-968-2788 or email to request one.

Click here for RURAL ROUTE SCHEDULES. Look for your street on the alphabetical list then click on the route number to find out your schedule.┬áIf your street is not listed, it is not currently on one of our recycling routes.

If you would like a calendar card with your schedule mailed to you, email us and we will send you one.

Click here for a .pdf version of the Rural Recycling Guide for orange bins.

Click here for a .pdf version of the Rural Recycling Guide for blue carts.

How do I get a recycling bin?

Residents on the rural (every other week) curbside collection program can pick up recycling bins at the Solid Waste Management Department Administration office:
1207 Eubanks Rd.
Chapel Hill
(just west of the Orange County Landfill)

Monday-Friday, 8AM to 5PM

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

DO NOT use a plastic bag, garbage can, or cardboard box to contain your recyclables.

Do not use anything with a lid.  If you collect your recyclables in a plastic bag, remove recyclables from the bag before placing them in your bin and discard bag elsewhere.

REMEMBER-- have your recycling at the curb by 7AM on the morning of your collection day, or put it out the night before. Bring your containers back off the street within 24 hours after it is picked up. If your containers were missed on your collection day, but were out by 7AM please let our office know as soon as possible by calling (919) 968-2788.

Use your curbside recycling bins and carts for Bottles, Cans, Jars, Jugs, Tubs, and All Paper.  See the list below for details.

Flatten what you can to save space at the curb, and on the recycling truck!

Use the following guide for proper curbside recycling.  Mix together in a Single Stream:


tubs, cups and buckets

Tubs, cups and buckets

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

#1 or #6 boxes, clamshells, or styrofoam, no #7 PLA, no plastic bags or other non-rigid plastics. Recycle clean and dry plastic bags at grocery stores.
plastic_bottles       All Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Jars

Plastic bottles have a NECK smaller than the BASE. 

Recycle all bottles regardless of the #.  Flatten bottle or jug if possible and put the cap back on.

No plastic bags or any other non-rigid plastics.  No clamshells or Styrofoam.

glass bottles jars

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

Metal Cans

Aluminum and steel/tin food or beverage cans.  Tuck metal lids inside cans and crimp the edge shut. Flatten what you can to save space. No scrap metal, pots, pans or car parts.

spray can

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.

mixed paper

Mixed Paper

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

paper bag

Paper bags

Paper bags only.

Use paper bags to contain shredded paper.

No wax coated or plastic bags at the curb. 

papertowel rollcereal_box

Single layer cardboard

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

corrugated cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard

(Pizza boxes are OK if they are free of cheese and grease and are empty.)

In carts: Flatten, fold or cut to fit loosely inside cart. Cart lid must be able to close.

In bins: Empty and flatten boxes in pieces no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. Stack between, under or in recycling bins. There is a ten piece limit at the curb unless all of the cardboard fits inside your bin.

No wax-coated cardboard

flattop drinkboxmilk carton

Drink cartons

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.






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


Thanks for recycling.