In Durham, North Carolina, one does not have to be an avid recycler to keep unnecessary waste out of the landfill. The city and county have simple systems in place for recycling and proper waste disposal. Free curbside pick-up for most basic recyclables is available for city and county residents; designated locations exist for drop-off of items such as hazardous materials and electronic waste.
The city of Durham provides 95 gallon blue roll-out recycling carts and curbside pick-up services every other week for the following items: aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, glass bottles/jars, mixed papers, magazines, newspapers, paperboard and plastic bottles. Some items not accepted are plastic tubs (ex. yogurt or butter tubs) and no paperboard with food or grease.
Look up your street’s recycling pick-up day and schedule (red or blue week) here. Next, check the red week calendar or blue week calendar to find out which weeks your street has pick-up. For questions about pick-up, call 560-1200. For questions about your cart, click here.
For residents within Durham County but outside of the city limits, curbside pickup is still available. Find your street’s schedule: North of the Eno River or South of the Eno River and go here for information about obtaining a recycling bin.
Recycling Centers – Item Drop-Off
Due to abuse of recycling centers, the city of Durham closed all of its centers except for one: Waste Disposal and Recycling Center located at 2115 East Club Boulevard, Durham. They accept hazardous waste as well as regular recyclables. Durham County has four centers that accept recyclables.
E-waste (ex. computers, cell phones, televisions) is prohibited in NC landfills. Working items can be donated to charities or the Swap Shop or returned to retailers with recycling or donation programs. Non-working e-waste is accepted at the Recycling Center and the Hazardous Waste Facility at no charge. Call 919-560-4186 with specific questions.
Hazardous waste items such as pesticides/herbicides, cooking oil, liquid paints, solvents, light bulbs, batteries, etc. should never be thrown away or poured down the drain. Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil and oil filters can be recycled at the Transfer Station; other items are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facility. Fully-dried latex paint can be thrown away; oil-based paints must be brought to the HHW facility. For information on proper hazardous waste disposal, click here. Call 919-560-4186 with further questions.
An optional fee-based program is available to residents for yard waste collection. The program lasts from July 1 to June 30 and costs $60 annually. For more information about the program and to get an application, click here.
Durham County sells compost bins for $40 (see flyer here). Note that yard waste is banned from the landfill and the collection program has a fee. The city of Durham offers some basic information on the benefits of composting, troubleshooting and how to get started here.
Durham County offers a unique alternative to sending usable items to the landfill: the Swap Shop. Durham County residents can donate items or take items found at the shop for free! Click on the previous link for information about items they do and do not accept.
Consider donating unwanted craft materials and unique items to the Scrap Exchange, a local nonprofit. They resell items at low cost and local artists often display their work made from recycled materials there. For a list of what they do and do not accept, click here. Also, check out their Wish List.
Click here for a printable flyer detailing items accepted and how to process them, as well as non-acceptable items for curbside pick-up.
Click here for a city of Durham brochure with basic information about recycling.
The North Carolina Division of Pollution and Prevention Assistance has more information about recycling and waste reduction in NC.
For information about recycling scrap metal in Durham, click here.
City of Durham: http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/departments/solid/
Durham County Government: http://www.co.durham.nc.us/departments/gnsv/recycle/index.html
Scrap Exchange: http://www.scrapexchange.org
AC article about scrap metal recycling in Durham: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6237336/the_top_scrap_metal_recyclers_and_buyers.html?cat=3
North Carolina Division of Pollution and Prevention Assistance: http://www.p2pays.org/citizens.asp