Recycling Center Tours

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

News posted Jun. 28, 2018 - 6:00 am
Recycling Center Tourists

Ever wondered what happens to all the recyclable materials once City 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 Solid Waste Services 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 by people and machines. Once sorted, each type of commodity is baled and 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.

Tours are generally conducted quarterly. For information regarding the next Sonoco Recycling tour, please email Amanda Astor or call 919-996-6973 to sign up.

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.


  • Participants must register in advance.
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm


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

For more information, contact

Subscribe to the City's News RSS Feed

Forbes named Raleigh

In the 10 Coolest Places to Eat

View our accolades >>