Be ‘Cart Smart’ with Recycling

Communities across North Carolina are encouraging residents to practice simple steps to be “cart smart” about recycling. Putting non-recyclable items in the recycling bin causes contamination and raises costs.

Recycling is a long-standing method of reducing waste in local landfills while conserving natural resources. It’s important to recycle the right way and improve the quality of material collected through recycling programs. Knowing what can and cannot go into the cart is vital to maintaining successful recycling programs.

Follow Simple Tips
When you put non-recyclable items in the recycling cart or bin, it causes contamination of the recycling mix. That means local material recovery facilities must spend more time and money to sort out the increasing levels of non-recyclables and trash. View list of recyclable items.

To help make recycling more efficient, follow these simple tips:

  • Place empty cans, bottles, paper and cardboard in the recycling bin. Keep everything else out.  
  • Do not bag your recyclable items.
  • Do not put plastic bags, cords, hoses and other string-like items in the recycling bin as they can tangle around rotating equipment.
  • Avoid putting other things that could be hazardous to workers who sort recycling – like batteries, needles, sharp objects and food residue – into the recycling bin.
  • Do not put Styrofoam cups and containers in the recycling bin.
  • When in doubt, throw it out!

To help you be “cart smart” communities across the state are participating in the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Recycle Right NC education campaign.

Lead Department:
Solid Waste Services
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