There are many more things you can recycle, but here’s a simple list.  I find these to be the most common items that we recycle.


Aerosol cans :  Empty aerosol spray cans may be recycled curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24 hour recycling locations and solid waste convenience centers with Bottles, Cans, Jugs and Jars. Do not crush as you would other cans. The spray can must be EMPTY. If it is not empty, either use up the contents or dispose in your regular trash. If it contains hazardous material, bring it to the household hazardous waste (HHW) collection.

Aluminum cans :  State Law prohibits landfilling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles.  They MUST be recycled!  Recycle aluminum cans curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24 hour recycling drop off locations and solid waste convenience centers with Bottles, Cans, Jugs and Jars.

Caps and Lids:
Plastic caps from bottles can be recycled with plastic bottles.  Empty and squash the bottle flat, then put the cap back on to recycle them curbside, at apartment complexes , at 24 hour recycling drop off locations and solid waste convenience centers with Bottles, Cans, Jugs and Jars.  If the cap is not attached to a bottle, it will probably get lost– drop out of the bin or truck and end up as litter, or fall through sorting screens at recycling material processing facilities before it can be captured and baled to go to a re-manufacturer. If you collect a lot of plastic caps and lids together, you can put them inside a yogurt container and recycle them with rigid plastics at solid waste convenience centers, not at the curb.

Chemicals: Residents should bring household chemicals to the Household Hazardous waste collection facility. Bring paint, solvents, cleaning, automotive, pool and other caustic, toxic, flammable or otherwise hazardous chemicals to the collection

Egg Cartons:
Paper cartons can be recycled with “All Paper” at the curb and at apartment complexes. Paper cartons should be recycled with Mixed Paper at drop off locations and Solid Waste Convenience Centers.  Donate clean egg cartons of any type to egg growers at your local farmers market for them to reuse.

Electronic Equipment and Scrap:
Remember that reuse is the highest form of recycling!
Many non-profit and charitable organizations are able to accept used but usable electronic equipment, and offer them to schools, community organizations, and needy individuals. By reusing electronic equipment for its intended purpose, its useful life is extended and those who may not be able to afford equipment are able to use it. An additional benefit of reusing electronics is the conservation of energy that it would take to manufacture new equipment.

For a list of local charities that accept used computers, go to Computer Equipment.  For a statewide list of electronic equipment and scrap recyclers visit the Directory of Markets for Recyclable Materials.

Glass:
All glass bottles and jars can be recycled with bottles, cans, and jars curbside, at apartment complexes, at 24 hour recycling drop off locations, and Solid Waste Convenience Centers. Do not recycle plate glass, mirrors, Pyrex, or lab glass at these locations.

Grocery Bags:
Minimize paper and plastic bags by using a cloth bags when you shop.  If you forget your bag, reuse the bag you get from the store over and over.  There is virtually no environmental benefit of choosing paper over plastic. The right answer to “Paper or Plastic?” is of course, “Neither”!  See this video for inspiration.
If you do choose paper or plastic, they can both be recycled, but in different places.

Paper bags: can be recycled with “all paper” Curbside and at apartment complexes.  They can also be recycled with Corrugated cardboard at 24 hour recycling center locations and Solid waste convenient centers.

Plastic bags: can be recycled at most local grocery stores, but they must be clean and dry.  Plastic bags include newspaper bags, bread bags, and dry-cleaner bags. Do not try to recycle plastic bags in any of Orange County’s recycling programs,  They get caught in recycling equipment, slow down operations, and are an absolute no-no.  Bring to grocery stores instead

Magazines:
Recycle glossy magazines with all paper at the curb and at apartment complexes.  Glossy magazines are collected with newspaper and phonebooks at drop off locations and Solid Waste Convenient Centers.

Newspaper: (and all inserts that come with the newspaper)
Recycle newspapers with all paper at the curb and at apartment complexes.  Newspapers are collected with magazines and phonebooks at drop off locations and Solid Waste Convenient Centers.  Please remove and discard any plastic bag over wrap.  Plastic bags can be recycled at most local grocery stores.

Plastic Bottles:
NC State Law prohibits land filling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles.  They MUST be recycled!  All plastic BOTTLES (any number) can be recycled curbside, at Apartment Complexes, at 24 hour recycling drop off locations and Solid Waste Convenience Centers, with Bottles, Cans, Jugs and Jars. A bottle/jug is defined as a container with a neck smaller than the base. Be sure to squash flat and put the caps back on where possible.

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