Want to know when your recycling will be collected? A Charlotte city official explains

·3 min read
David T. Foster III/FILE PHOTO

Charlotte is still working to get recycling pick up back on schedule across the city, but city officials are hopeful that things will be back on track “soon.”

The city’s Solid Waste Services department is working with its vendor, Waste Management, to address recent issues caused by “staffing challenges,” spokesman Lawrence Corley said in a statement.

“Waste Management has made strides in hiring to fill vacant positions and is in the process of onboarding drivers to fill these roles,” Corley said. “We will continue to experience delays as this onboarding and training process occurs; however, the city is confident that recycling collection will get back on schedule soon.”

Here’s what to know about the city’s recycling and yard waste collection programs and how they work:

City of Charlotte recycling schedule

When things are running on schedule, recycling in Charlotte is picked up every other week.

The city switched to that schedule and 96-gallon recycling containers in 2010 and started allowing residents to purchase a second recycling bin a year later, WCNC reported at the time.

Your collection weeks are determined by your address, which places you in a color category.

To find your address’s designation go to mcmap.org/geoportal/?q=trash and enter your address. Then select the “Trash and Recycling” option to see your color category and pick-up schedule.

The full 2023 recycling collection schedule is available online at charlottenc.gov/SWS/Pages/Recycling-Collection-Schedule.aspx. You can also email curbit@charlottenc.gov to request a 2023 recycling calendar be emailed or mailed to you.

What can, and can’t be recycled in Charlotte

Items that can be recycled curbside in Charlotte include:

  • Aluminum cans

  • Cardboard boxes

  • Cartons and juice boxes

  • Cereal boxes

  • Clean pizza boxes

  • Empty aerosol cans

  • Glass bottles and jars

  • Paper, junk mail, magazines and newspapers

  • Plastic containers

  • Tin and steel cans

Items that can’t be recycled curbside in Charlotte include:

  • Car parts

  • Cat litter

  • Ceramics or glassware

  • Diapers

  • Eyeglasses

  • Food

  • Hardback books

  • Light Bulbs

  • Paper plates

  • Plastic bags

  • Pots and pans

  • Rechargeable batteries

  • Shredded paper

  • Syringes

  • Wire or plastic hangers

What about yard waste?

In addition to curbside recycling, Charlotte homeowners can also have yard waste “collected from the curb once a week on your scheduled collection day.”

“Residents must use paper yard waste bags or reusable containers weighing no more than 75 pounds when preparing leaves and grass clippings for yard waste collection,” the city says.

If you want logs picked up, they “must be under four inches in diameter,” and tree stumps won’t be collected.

Limbs shouldn’t be tied but can be “placed in containers.”

Limbs and brush “must be no longer than five feet in length and no larger than four inches in diameter” and “should be separated in piles that are no longer than five feet long and three feet high,” with two feet between piles.

Yard waste you want picked up should be placed “within six feet of the curb and at least three feet away from other collection items,” per the city. You should put it out to the curb “no sooner than the day before collection” but no later than 6 a.m. on your collection day.

“A minimum $150 citation may be issued if you place yard waste at the curb sooner than the day before collection,” the city cautions.

Yard waste collected by the city is “made into mulch and compost for reuse.”