Public Works

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Curbside Recycling

We’re Celebrating 25 Years at Your Curb

We rolled the first recycling trucks to your curb in 1991. Responding to citizen demand, our Cary Recycles curbside collection program has grown over the last 25 years. Your initial enthusiasm and support of our curbside recycling program laid the foundation of our culture of conservation that continues to exist today. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to recycle in our community.

When to Recycle

Place your recycling cart at the curb every other week by 7 a.m. on your recycling collection day. If collection does not occur, call the Public Works Department at (919) 469-4090.

View and print recycling collection calendars

Blue week   Yellow week

What to Recycle

View and print the Cary Recycles Brochure

Why Can't I Recycle That?

Accepted in Your Cart


Not Accepted 

  • White and color paper/cardstock/manila
  • Newspaper/inserts, magazines/catalogs
  • Mail including envelopes with windows and postcards
  • Non-foil gift wrap and wrapping tissue
  • Greeting cards with no electronic devices
  • Telephone books
  • Empty paper bags
  • Shredded paper that is contained in a clear plastic bag that is tied closed.
paper mix 1 image
new shredded paper image

X Books
X Binder clips
X Napkins/tissues/paper towels
X Wax or parchment paper
X Loose shredded paper
X Shredded paper in unclear bags or grocery/trash bags
  • Bottles (neck smaller than body) and tubs #1 - 7
  • Lids (placed back on bottle, tub or jar)
Rinse container clean. Labels are okay.
plastic group

X Unnumbered plastics
X Plastic bags and wrap
X Cups, plates, utensils
X Frozen entree trays
X Clamshell/hinged containers
X Toys
X Coat hangers
X Flower pots
X Foam blocks ex) shipping packaging, packing peanuts, cups, plates
Certain Rigid #2 HDPE Plastics
  • Laundry baskets
  • Lawn furniture
  • 5-gallon buckets
  • Storage containers and lids
  • Soda crates
  • Garbage cans/cart
  • 18-gallon recycling bins
If your #2 rigid plastic on this list will not fit in your cart, please call (919) 469-4090 for a free, special collection.
laundry basket imagelawn chair imagestorage container image
X Metal attachments (wheels, handles, hinges and screws)
  • Aluminum cans, foil and pie pans
  • Tin/Steel food cans
  • Lids (placed back on bottle, tub or jar)
  • Pots, pans and lids
Rinse container clean.

metal can 2 imagepot image 1 X Pots and pans with electric plugs
X Items wtih food residue
Chipboard and SBS/White Paperboard
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Food boxes and paperboard packaging
  • Egg cartons (chipboard/paperboard
  • only)
  • Cup holder trays
cereal roll imageegg carton image

X Cereal bags
X Plastic wrap around paper towels
X Polystyrene/styrofoam egg cartons

Corrugated Cardboard
  • Boxes and inserts
Packing paper okay. Properly dispose of all other packing material.
Flatten and/or cut to ensure that it fits in the cart/bin.

If you have more cardboard than will fit in your cart/bin, call (919) 469-4090 to schedule a free, cardboard collection.

corrugated cardboard 1F image X Pizza boxes

X Packing peanuts

  • Bottles
  • Jars
Rinse container clean. Lids placed on container are okay. Labels are okay.

glass image 1 X Ceramic
X Pyrex, Corningware
X Window, auto and mirror glass
X Light bulbs
X Other broken glass
Gable Top Cartons and Aseptic Packaging
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Drink and soup boxes
Rinse container clean. Lids placed on container are okay.
aseptic packagegabletop image X Drink/food pouches
X Straws

All items accepted for recycling can also be taken to the Citizen's Convenience Center  located at 313 N. Dixon Ave.

Proper Preparation for Recycling

Give containers a quick rinse.

Keep items loose in the cart; do not bag your recyclable materials.

All items must fit inside your cart/bin.

Recycling that is mixed with unaccepted items or otherwise improperly prepared may not be processed and require disposal at the landfill.

Computer/Electronic and Appliance Recycling
Appliances/white goods, computer equipment and televisions are banned from North Carolina landfills. Recycle your computer/electronics and appliances.

Used Motor Oil/Filters Disposal
The Town collects and recycles used motor oil and filters free of charge. Call (919) 469-4090 to schedule a pickup. Used motor oil must be placed in a container no larger than 5 gallons, sealed with a screw-cap lid, and labeled "Used Motor Oil." Filters must be triple-bagged for collection. 

Residential Waste Cooking Oil Recycling
Save and recycle your fats, oils and grease (FOG) to make an environmentally friendly bio-fuel. The Town provides this service free of charge when scheduled through our Residential Cooking Oil Curbside Collection and Recycling Program.

Junk Mail
Opt-out of unwanted mail.
'Just Say No' to junk mail. 

Don't see it on our list? Search for it on the Trash & Recyclables Directory.

Public Works Department
(919) 469-4090