Local News

Raleigh enforcing recycling rules

Posted August 16, 2009 10:04 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2009 7:13 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh residents are likely wondering why some items are being left in recycle bins.

"We're getting more calls and e-mails from residents wondering why we're suddenly not taking things that we used to take,” said Bianca Howard, the city’s solid waste services education specialist.

Howard said its recycling rules haven't changed; however, collection crews are strictly enforcing the existing policies.

"Our crews have done a really good job leaving things behind that are not recyclable,” Howard said.

The processor that handles Raleigh's recycling complained that deliveries were becoming contaminated with items it couldn't handle. That meant extra work for its employees and less money for the city.

So, collection crews have recently been leaving behind items that the processor can't recycle such as:

  • Non-bottle shaped plastic items, such as yogurt cups, bags, utensils and margarine tubs
  • Pizza boxes
  • Non-food glass products such as ceramic cups, vases, dishes, plate glass, mirrors and light bulbs

The following items are collected curbside:

  • newspapers and all inserts
  • magazines and catalogs
  • white paper, including junk mail
  • corrugated cardboard
  • paperboard, chipboard and paper tubes
  • steel food cans
  • aluminum beverage cans
  • aluminum foil and trays that are free of food debris
  • plastic beverage rings
  • glass food and beverage containers
  • gable top cartons
  • aseptic (drink) boxes

Raleigh can also recycle all plastic bottles.

"We have really good markets for soda bottles, water bottles, laundry bottles and other kinds of bottles,” Howard said.

The city also has seven recycling drop-off centers. All non-recyclable items must go to the landfill.

"Recycling is important, but making less trash in the first place is more important,” Howard said.

Details on Raleigh’s curbside recycling program can be found on its Web site.