Solid Waste Services Department

*Garbage, Recycling and Yard Waste

Last updated Oct. 01, 2019 - 1:51 pm
  •  *Be Cart Smart Be Cart Smart
  • *Fall Shred and Recycle Event November 16Fall Shred and Recycle Event November 16
  • *Recycle your textiles curbside with Simple RecyclingRecycle your textiles curbside with Simple Recycling
  • *Read our tips on how to prepare yard wasteRead our tips on how to prepare yard waste

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. For a list of recyclable items, click here.

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.

News and Events

Raleigh Celebrates 30 years of Recycling

The City of Raleigh launched a curbside recycling pilot program with a contractor 30 years ago, on Oct. 2, 1989. Collection occurred only once a month and the City only accepted:

  • Newspaper
  • Milk jugs
  • Soda bottles
  • Glass food containers
  • Aluminum

Today, recycling is collected bi-weekly with 95-gallon and 65-gallon roll carts and the list of acceptable materials has expanded. Through the curbside recycling program, about 27,000 tons of materials are collected annually. Thank you for helping us keep valuable materials out of the landfill!

Need Assistance Program

Recycle Cart

To remain in the Need Assistance Program, you must submit an application to the Solid Waste Services Department.

Backyard pickup is for customers who are not physically able to wheel their carts to the curb and have no one living with them who can do it for them. Our goal is to make sure that residents who need this service continue to receive it! To request an application, please call our Customer Care Center at 919-996-3245.

New Need Assistance Application


Recycling truck with new City logo

Raleigh recycles! The City of Raleigh encourages residents, visitors, and businesses to recycle through a variety of programs and offerings. Recycling extends the life landfills, reduces pollution, and supports economic development. Learn more about how you can help divert waste from the landfill and protect our environment.

Learn more about Recycling

Garbage Program

Garbage Truck

The goal of the Residential (Garbage) Division of the Solid Waste Services (SWS) Department is to safely and efficiently collect residential solid waste and dispose of it at the county landfill. Responsibilities include:

Yard Waste Program

Yard Waste Collection

The City of Raleigh Yard Waste Center, which opened in 1992, serves as the recycling center for yard waste collected by City crews as part of the Solid Waste Services Department’s curbside collection program. Items such as grass clippings, shrubbery trimmings, leaves, limbs, logs, brush, pine straw, and hay are recycled into wood chips, mulch and compost, which are then made available to the general public for purchase. In addition to yard waste collected, the center also accepts yard waste from the public for a nominal fee. The yard waste must be generated inside the Raleigh City limits.

Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement

Responsibilities include: enforcing policies, procedures, municipal codes, the Solid Waste Design Manual, laws that are designed to improve the quality of life, oversees the solid waste/recycling site permit approval process, land use development process, operational efficiency and effectiveness, and SWS billing.

Learn more about Code Enforcement

Public Speaking and Outreach

Solid Waste Services staff are available to speak to schools, civic groups, neighborhood associations or Scout troops about solid waste issues. Presentations are available on:

  • Recycling;
  • Backyard composting; and,
  • Vermicomposting.

Staff members welcome the opportunity to participate in school science fairs, career days and Earth Day events. In addition, a specialist can provide literature or advice to Girl and Boy Scouts working on environmental badges.

An Education Specialist will tailor a program to meet the needs of any group, from kindergarten students through senior citizens.

Recycling Center Tours


LEED Platinum Facility
The award-winning Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility was constructed on a portion of the 260-acre City-owned parcel that includes the former Wilders Grove Landfill and the City’s solid waste transfer facility. The SWS Facility, completed in March 2012, is LEED Platinum certified. It reduces energy consumption by more than 40 percent using renewable geothermal energy, LED lighting, solar photo voltaic panels, and a web-based building control system. Recycled building materials were incorporated throughout construction of the facility and nearly 95 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. Wilders Grove is home to the department’s administrative offices and most operations functions.

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