Commercial Recycling

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Orange County operates recycling programs for the commercial sector, however these services have limited coverage. Where available, Commercial Recycling services are provided at no direct cost to participating businesses. Call (919) 968-2788 or email us to find out if your business is eligible for the commercial recycling program or organics collection program described below.

The materials listed below are collected in labeled carts at commercial recycling locations.

Businesses receiving this service are responsible for proper preparation of recyclable materials and cart and site cleanliness.  Our commercial recycling program’s primary focus is to serve those County businesses with ABC permits, but if your business is on or adjacent to one of our recycling routes you may also be eligible. A business must demonstrate a willingness to properly prepare materials for recycling, maintain the site, and there must be adequate space for and truck access to a collection location.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard is banned from landfill disposal. Businesses that generate fewer than fifty boxes per week may use one of the five 24-hour drop-off sites located throughout the county.  Businesses may deliver unlimited amounts of separated cardboard to the landfill for recycling at no charge, or contract privately for cardboard recycling services.

Hazardous Waste

Orange County businesses that produce less than 220 pounds per month of hazardous material such as paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, fluorescent lights or any other material that might be toxic, flammable or otherwise hazardous can bring them to the Hazardous Waste Collection located at the Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Rd. in Chapel Hill.  Orange County businesses with more than 75 pounds of material must set up an appointment prior to delivering materials so that waiting times are minimized-- call (919) 968-2788 or email

Technical Assistance

We provide technical assistance for waste reduction and recycling to businesses and other non-residential entities on request at no charge. This ranges from marketing questions, facility waste audits to helping to set up a recycling program.

Commercial Recycling Program

Laminiated posters for Commercial Recycling are available. Call (919) 968-2788, email us for delivery, or click the links below for a printable .pdf of the:



Recyclables can be mixed all together in a "Single Stream". 

Flatten what you can to save space in your cart, and on the recycling truck!

NO RECYCLING IN PLASTIC BAGS! If recyclables are collected in plastic bags, please remove the recyclables, place them inside the blue carts, and discard the bag elsewhere.


tubsTubs, cups and buckets #2, #4 and #5

Tubs, cups and buckets and other rigid non bottle plastics #2, #4, #5 only.

#1 or #6 boxes, clamshells, or styrofoam, no #7 PLA, no plastic bags or other non-rigid plastics. Recycle clean dry plastic bags at grocery stores.
Plastic Bottles, Jugs and Jars
Plastic bottles have a neck smaller than the base.  Leave the cap on! Flatten bottle or jug if possible and put the cap back on. No plastic bags or other non-rigid plastics, No clamshells or Styrofoam.

Glass Bottles and Jars

Clear, brown, green and blue glass bottles and jars only.  Rinse clean. Lids and labels are OK. No dishes, ceramics, cookware, window glass, drinking glass, light bulbs, pyrex or mirrors

Metal Cans

Aluminum and steel/tin food or beverage cans.  Tuck metal lids inside cans and crimp the edge shut. Flatten what you can to save space. No scrap metal, pots, pans or car parts.

Aerosol Spray Cans

Must be completely empty.  Do not puncture or flatten.  

Aluminum Foil and Trays

Must be clean. Rinse off any food residue and crush what you can to save space. No foil with food or lots of grease on it.

paper envweb
Mixed Paper

Any clean, dry paper that tears. Junk mail, office and school paper, manila folders. Envelope windows and staples are OK.Shredded paper with mixed paper is OK if it is in a paper bag.

No tissue or paper towels. No wax coated or laminated paper. Remove credit cards or other plastic items from junk mail.

Single layer cardboard

Cereal boxes, cracker boxes, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls, frozen food boxes, etc. Remove any plastic or foil lining.   

Food and drink cartons of all types

Flat-topped and gable topped drink boxes.  Plastic spouts are OK.  Must be empty and rinsed.  


Newspaper and associated inserts.  Remove plastic bags or rubber bands before recycling.


24-hour recycling drop-off sites have Magazine Racks for the reuse and sharing of magazines in good condition.  


Phone books and other paperback books are OK. Must be clean. Remove from plastic bags before recycling.  No hardcover books.

Orange County Commercial Organic Waste Collection

Orange County Solid Waste Management operates and manages the Commercial Organics Recycling Program that diverts more than 1,500 tons of food waste and other compostable material from landfill disposal each year. We are proud partners with these Orange County businesses that compost:

411 West Hillsborough Barbeque Company The Lantern
Bagel Bar IFC Homeless Shelter The Pig
Breadmen's K&W Cafeteria Top of the Hill
Carol Woods Mama Dips Kitchen UNC Hospital
Carolina Brewery Margaret's Cantina Victoria Park Florist
Carolina Inn Oishii Vimala's 
Chapel Hill Catering Company Piedmont Food & Ag Processing Center Weaver St. Market - Carrboro
Fosters Market Queen of Sheba Weaver St. Market - Food House
Granville Towers Red Lotus Weaver St. Market - Hillsborough
Harris Teeter, Chapel Hill  North Rizzo Center Weaver St. Market - Southern Village
Harris Teeter, U-Mall Squids Seafood Restaurant Whole Foods
Fifth Season Food Lion (all SIX locations)  

Collection and composting service is performed by Brooks Contracting, the second largest outdoor commercioal composting facility in North Carolina, located in Chatham County.

Source-separated organic materials such as produce and meat preparation waste, post-consumer plate waste, and other compostable organic materials from local restaurants, grocery stores, florists, institutions, special events and food service establishments for composting. The finished compost is available for sale in bulk at the Orange County Landfill and in bags at Southern States in Carrboro.