Local News

Recycling Boxes? Make Sure You Follow the Rules

Posted December 27, 2007

— Now that the holidays are over and the gifts have been opened, many people want to recycle their boxes. But homeowners must follow the rules so trash collectors will pick up their cardboard.

Raleigh resident Vaughn Kashuba’s recycling bin was emptied out Thursday morning, but some cardboard boxes were left behind along his curb.

“Obviously, if they’re going to have the guys doing the recycling collection, you figure they’d take all the paper and all the cardboard,” Kashuba said.

City officials said the recycling program accepts plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, but it has to be broken down and flattened. The size of the flattened cardboard should be no more than 3 feet by 3 feet. The city does not take Styrofoam.

Now that he knows what’s expected, Kashuba said he might wait to recycle the boxes instead of taking them to the landfill, like he was planning.

“It could be right out here next week, depending on what the rest of my week looks like,” he said.

On average, Raleigh collects more than 1,600 tons of recycling each month. For those who need more than one green recycling bin, another one can be bought for $6 or people can use something like a laundry basket.

As for trash collection, city officials say make sure everything is in the can. If something is beside the can or on top of the lid, the truck may not stop to pick up any of it.


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  • rrjeff Dec 28, 2007

    I just moved from Durham to Raleigh last year. Durham will pick up anything on the curb. If your trash overflows and you place bags next to the trash can, it will still be gone. They pick up ALL broken down cardboard. Then I came to Raleigh. The trash people think they are the angels of the city. I pay them to come pick up my trash and that is what they should do. Pretty soon, with all these restrictions, they will not come around and pick up trash. Just leave you messages on their excuse why they can't pick it up. RALEIGH TRASH PEOPLE SUCK!!!

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Dec 28, 2007

    Recycling is easy, but I wish they would make it easier for folks to decide to do it. We all need to contribute more in this area but when they charge a fee, albeit a small one, each month for the "privilege" of recycling, quite a few folks will opt out. Just my take...

  • YeahWhatever Dec 28, 2007

    Man what a bunch of crybabies.

    Recycling is easy! We DON'T have to spend time "separating all those little things" as it all goes in one box. Should we have bigger boxes? Yes! Greensboro had roll-out cans for recycling the same size as the big garbage cans almost 20 years ago.

    Besides the obvious environmental benefit of landfill space reduction, recycling is economically efficient. Aluminum in particular costs between 1/5 and 1/10 to recycle than it does to refine from raw ore!

    Paper is also seeing more and more use as an economical alternative to raw wood pulp.

    Frankly, this whole city should be embarrassed a the lack of recycling they do.

  • coolwill Dec 28, 2007

    Don’t you people get tired of being dictated to from this government that constantly raises it rates? You pay for recycle every month, trash pickup, administration fees and more, and then at the end of the year on your mortgage taxes you are charged again a fee for recycle. They went from twice a week to once a week and are still telling you what they will take. They charge you a vehicle fee for just living in Raleigh ($15.00 per year per vehicle). This does not include the property tax on the vehicle, the inspection, the tags, and now they are increasing the mortgage tax by almost 40%. They just install new water meters; look out it’s going to cost you more.

  • godukebasketball Dec 27, 2007

    The best way I recycle boxes is to list them on Craigslist and within minutes, I have people emailing me asking me for my boxes, especially moving-sized boxes, and picking them up. I don't have to do anything but type a few sentences on Craigslist. Great way to find free moving boxes too.

  • aquamama Dec 27, 2007

    I recycle more than anyone I know and follow the rules avidly. These guys don't seem to know what a 3' x 3' piece of cardboard looks like. I have put cardboard out there WAY smaller than that, and they still leave it in on the curb or even in the middle of the street. It's very frustrating.

  • Steve Crisp Dec 27, 2007

    Our family recycles literally everything we take into the house. This is how we do it:

    All finished products are made of raw materials that come out of the ground in one form or another. We use the product, then place all the remains in a dumpster. The city picks up the dumpster and brings the contents to a landfill when it is placed back in the ground.

    It doesn't get more recyclable than that.

    And while the rest of you are wasting your time and energy separating all those little things, I am out enjoying myself, purchasing new things, and playing with them.

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Dec 27, 2007


    It used to be that the city of Raleigh wouldn't take cardboard at all. This was the case not that long ago. It is not difficult to flatten boxes.

    I think the City of Raleigh does a great job in the new combined garbage/recycling collection day.

    NNB, keep in mind that there are those people who would leave the trash in their yard & have the city bag it & throw it away for them if they could. But flattening boxes & making sure they can fit in the recycling compartment is not too much to ask for.

    It sure beats driving to a recycling center to dispose of the boxes there.

  • FE Dec 27, 2007

    Two interesting observations of the Raleigh trash/recycling folks:

    1 - They now take the entire recycling container (paper/glass/plastic/whatever) and dump it into one compartment, all together, on the truck.

    2 - The City of Raleigh supposedly has "rules" as to where the roll-out trash container can go, but it seems that the emptied trash container frequently ends up sideways IN the street. (Some even in the driveway - welcome home!!) Well, at least it makes for an interesting slalom driving course on some nearby narrow residential streets.

  • houdie1031 Dec 27, 2007

    I love the re-cycling people. Thanks guys for doing such a great job. With the new Green Movement, we will start seeing these materials being re-used. Just tonight on HGTV was a new countertop with 60% re-cycled materials.