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The Facts on Item Preparation
Definition
Item preparation is the method used to prepare household items for curbside pickup.   

Importance of Item Preparation
Solid Waste Services has specific guidelines for proper item preparation. These guidelines ensure that items are collected each week and neighborhoods are free from litter. Proper preparation also prevents property damage.

Item Preparation Tips

Bulky Waste
Bulky waste includes household furnishings, appliances, lawn equipment and other similar items too large for the garbage rollout cart and not eligible for recycling or yard waste collection.

Tip 1.  Call 311 (704.336.7600) or schedule online.
Solid Waste Services will not collect any items that are not scheduled. Unscheduled items left at the curb can result in a fine of up to $50.

Tip 2.  Place bulky items at the curb only one day prior to collection. 
Items placed at the curb more than 24 hours prior to collection are a violation of the City ordinance.  Violations of City ordinances can result in fines.

Garbage
Garbage includes waste like regular household garbage, old clothing, paper products, dried paint cans without lids, kitty litter, soiled infant diapers, and other miscellaneous items that fit into your rollout cart issued by the City of Charlotte.  

Tip 1.  Bag all garbage before putting it in the garbage rollout cart. 
Loose garbage can scatter during the collection process and litter your property and neighborhood streets.  Solid Waste Services is not responsible for garbage that scatters during the collection process.

Tip 2.  Do not overfill garbage rollout cart. 
Overfilled carts can cause spillage during the collection process and litter your property and neighborhood streets.  Solid Waste Services is not responsible for garbage that spills during the collection process.

Tip 3.  Place the garbage rollout cart more than 3 feet away from other items, and at least 6 feet from the curb.
Items around the garbage cart prevent the collection arm from reaching the cart during collection, and can cause property damage. Objects such as vehicles completely block the cart during the collection process.  Solid Waste Services is not responsible for moving rollout carts from blocked areas during the collection process. 

Recycling
Recycling involves the collection of materials that can be used to create new products.  The City of Charlotte accepts the following materials: aerosol cans, aluminum, cardboard, glass, juice boxes, paper, pizza boxes, plastics 1-5 & 7, spiral paper cans, steel/tin cans and wax-coated milk/juice cartons.

Tip 1. Rinse or wipe out remaining liquid and food. 
Any residue left in containers is considered hazardous contamination, and prevents items from being recycled.

Tip 2. Cut (not fold) cardboard into pieces no larger than 3 feet x 3 feet.
Boxes not properly prepared are too big, and take up too much space in the recycling rollout cart. 

Tip 3. Do not bag recyclables.
Though garbage must bagged before placing it in the garbage cart, recyclables should be placed loosely in the recycling cart.

Tip 3. Place the recycling rollout cart more than 3 feet away from other items, and at least 6 feet from the curb.
Items around the recycling cart slow down the collection process. Objects such as vehicles completely block the cart during the collection process.  Solid Waste Services is not responsible for moving rollout carts from blocked areas during the collection process. 

Yard Waste
Yard waste is produced from pruning, lawn mowing, and other basic yard care practices.

Tip 1.  Cut limbs, logs, and brush to no more that 5 feet in length and 4 inches in diameter.  
Limbs that are too long or thick can cause damage to equipment or injury to staff.

Tip 2.  Separate all piles and stack to less than 4 feet high and less 75 pounds. 
Piles that are too big slow the collection process.  They also can attract rodents. Piles that are too heavy can cause safety issues during the collection process.
 
Tip 3.  Place leaves and grass clippings in untied plastic bags or uncovered trash cans.
Open bags or containers allow drivers to identify contamination or hazardous materials; slows decomposition that causes odor.

Tip 4.  Do not place yard waste in the rollout carts. 
North Carolina prohibits yard waste disposal at the landfill.  Yard waste found at the landfill can result in a $1,000 fine for Solid Waste Services, which can increase overall collection costs.