Recycling

Did you know that every year, North Carolinians throw away enough trash to circle the earth twice? Recycling is one of the best ways you can help to protect the environment. Recycling saves natural resources, keeps reusable items out of landfills, and provides the materials needed to make recycled products.

Collection


Sorting

In Durham, it's easy to recycle. Place all acceptable recycling items in 1 container. There is no need for any sorting.

All paper must be clean and dry. Discard anything that is wet or contaminated by dirt, paint, chemicals, food, etc. Boxes with wax coating and/or grease and food residue are unacceptable. Do not bundle or place anything in bags. Shredded paper must be placed in bags. Only paper or clear plastic bags are acceptable. Hardback books will not be accepted.

Cardboard
Cardboard should be flattened and should fit inside your blue recycling cart. Cardboard that cannot fit inside your blue recycling cart, must be flattened and a scheduled collection arranged by placing a call to the City's Durham One Call Center. Residents may also take large volumes of flattened cardboard to the City's Transfer Station.

Glass & Metal
Only glass bottles and jugs are acceptable. Anything with grease and food residue is unacceptable. Fluorescent bulbs should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Please, no drinking glasses or mirrors.

Plastics
Rinse containers to remove grease and food residue. Do not place anything in the cart longer than 2 feet or heavier than 40 pounds. Do not place anything in the cart that has come into contact with petroleum products or hazardous waste.Foam

We do not accept any foam or Styrofoam material in the City of Durham recycling program.

Exclusion List
  • Empty motor oil containers
  • Food containers with debris
  • Plastic Bags  (We do not accept plastic bags in our blue bins but you can find a store close to you that does)
  • Styrofoam
  • Window blinds
Other/ Miscellaneous
Most of these items can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility or the Swap Shop (only if in good working condition).