Public Works

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Curbside Recycling

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 in Your Cart

  • 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