Recycling Center Tours

Experience a rare, close-up look at how recyclable items are sorted and baled.

Event posted Mar. 01, 2016 - 1:00 pm | updated Apr 11, 2016
Recycling Center Tourists

Ever wondered what happens to all the recyclable materials once Raleigh Recycling crews collect them from your recycling bin or cart? Where do they go? What if unacceptable materials got put in? Get your questions answered!

Raleigh Recycling offers free quarterly tours of our recycling contractor's sorting facility. The place where all the materials are taken is called a material recovery facility, usually abbreviated MRF, and pronounced "merf". This is the place where all the materials are sorted - both by people and machines. Once sorted, each type material gets baled and is shipped to a manufacturer to be made into new products.

Quarterly tours include a walk through the sorting floor and are limited to Raleigh residents who are at least 18 years old and in good physical condition. Registration is required. After touring Sonoco Recycling, participants may stay for a guided tour of the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility, a LEED Platinum-certified site featuring geothermal energy and solar panels.

The next quarterly tour will be announced in July.

Children are welcome to visit Sonoco Recycling's Education Center. Groups of five or more may request a free tour. Tours are never offered on evenings or weekends. Tours must be requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Amanda Astor to schedule a group tour.


  • Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility
  • 640 Beacon Lake Drive
  • Raleigh, NC 27610

For more information, contact

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