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​What Can and Can't be Recycled

While Mecklenburg County has a robust recycling program, there are still things you should NEVER put in your CURBSIDE recycling cart .  These non-recyclable items, listed at the bottom of this page, are accepted at any of our FULL-SERVICE DROP-OFF CENTERS  as waste.  For your CURBSIDE recycling cart, just the listed acceptable items please!  

We strive to recycle many items; however we do not accept everything that displays the recycle symbol. Mecklenburg County DOES NOT follow the plastic numbering system, as many products are incorrectly numbered.  Always refer to the acceptable list below for acceptable item types.

Remember, When in Doubt, Leave it Out!

Acceptable Items.png

If is not on the above list, that means it is not recyclable in your Curbside Recycling.

So, we still see that you are reading here, and want more information?  Read below for some common mistakes made with curbside recycling. 


There are thousands of unacceptable items, and we can't list them all, but here are some of the more frequent "improper-wishful" items.  PLEASE resist the urge to recycle these in your Curbside Recycling......

  • No Plastic Bags, No Plastic Wrap, or Plastic Film please resist the urge...  (Take to stores such as Harris Teeter or Walmart)
  • Do not put your recycled items in a plastic bag, we simply cannot recycle the bagged items.  
  • No Ceramics or glassware such as Pyrex, flower vases, picture frames etc. -  (If in good condition, please donate. If broken, please place in the trash can.)
  • No Pots & Pans (Take that to a Full Service Recycling Center for special processing)
  • No Eyeglasses  
  • No Paper Plates, Diapers, Cat Litter, Aluminum Cooking Pans, Napkins (place in the trash can)
  • Do not put Rechargeable Batteries in a recycling or trash cart. (Take to a full service recycling center)
  • No Light Bulbs. Fluorescents and CFL's from residential customers go to Full Service Recycling Center.
  • No Wire or Plastic Hangers (Take back to the cleaners or donate to a recycling clothing store, such as Goodwill)
  • No plastic or foam Clamshells or foam type containers (Clean foam acceptable only at Full-Service Centers).
  • No Shredded paper in curbside collection (from your home or business). The shredded paper falls through the screening equipment and contaminates the glass we collect. (see bullets below)
  • No Hardback books in curbside collection (from your home or business). Even if you remove the hard cover, the spine of the book does not allow the separation equipment to accommodate the paper.  (see next bullet)
  • Our Full-Service Recycling Centers now collect books for recycling. BOOKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED IN YOUR CURBSIDE CONTAINER. Click here for more information on Enhanced Recycling.
  • Our Full-Service Recycling Centers have specific bins available for shredded paper. SHREDDED PAPER IS NOT ACCEPTED IN YOUR CURBSIDE CONTAINER. Click here for more information on Enhanced Recycling.
  • Needles should not be placed in curbside recycling container! Secure the needles in either a duct taped sharps container or a rigid plastic, such as a laundry detergent container and in your curbside trash container. Click here for more information on Sharps and Needle Disposal.


Office Location:

2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208


Hours: Disposal Site Hours Mon-Sat  7 a.m. - 4 p.m.


General Inquiries
311 or 980-314-3867