recycling bins

Recycling in the Central Business District

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TRAC Pilot Program Blue Recycling Carts Recycling Cardboard Reminders Downloadable Resources

The City encourages businesses in the Central Business District to recycle. Recycling extends the life of landfills, reduces pollution, and supports economic development. Learn how to do your part to help protect our environment and turn "waste" into new, useful products by recycling.

TRAC Pilot Program

The City of Raleigh is piloting a waste collection system in part of the downtown central business district with above-ground containers. The containers are called TRAC bins (Trash, Recycling, and Cardboard).​

Their purpose is to replace the 95-gallon carts occupying sidewalks to reduce contamination and enhance the safety and cleanliness of downtown Raleigh.

Learn more about the Above Ground Collection Pilot.

Blue Recycling Carts

Raleigh's blue recycle bins

The blue cart is for recycling, not trash! 

Accepted items:

  • Aluminum cans and clean foil; 
  • Glass containers;
  • Cartons;
  • Plastic containers;
  • Paper waste; and, 
  • Cardboard. 

Items should be placed loosely in carts and cart lids should not be open more than 12 inches when full.

Uacceptable items:

  • Plastic bags;
  • Tanglers (cords, hoses, strings of light, etc.);
  • Styrofoam

These items should be placed in the green cart for trash. 

Recycling Cardboard

Follow these steps to ensure that your cardboard is prepared properly and ready for collection: 

  1. Remove all packaging materials
  2. Flatten boxes
  3.  Place flattened cardboard inside the blue recycling cart and leave no more than a twelve-inch gap when closing the cart lid. 
  4. Boxes and cardboard left outside the cart will not be collected. 


  • All flattened cardboard must fit inside the cart.
  • Only materials inside the cart will be collected.
  • If you have a lot of cardboard, and do not want to reduce it to three-inch by three-inch pieces, you can remove packing materials, flatten it, and take it to one of the City's drop-off recycling centers.
  • We do not accept heavy waxed boxes.

Downloadable Resources

We have created two helpful posters for businesses to download to help with recycling and cardboard.

  1. Download an educational poster with common items that can be recycled.
  2. Download and educational poster with tips to properly prepare your cardboard for collection.