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Rethink Recycling
Rethink Recycling
Now you can recycle more than ever before with the kick-off of "Single Stream" recycling in Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte, NC – Rethink how you dispose of that empty aerosol can. And that orange juice carton. And that broken plastic toy.

Beginning next month, recycling as we know it in Mecklenburg County is changing – for the better.

Starting July 1, you can recycle more items than ever. The expanded list of recyclable materials includes plastic bottles and jugs, margarine and yogurt containers, buckets, milk and juice cartons, and hair spray and deodorant cans.  These items are in addition to those you have traditionally recycled: cardboard, soda cans and bottles, newspaper, etc.

Some items are still not recyclable in your curbside containers, and must go in your trash bin, including pizza boxes, takeout containers, paper plates, and bottle caps. Light bulbs, wire hangers, batteries and many other materials may be recycled at any of the County's four staffed recycling centers. To find a center near you, call 311 or visit

As a part of this change, communities in Mecklenburg County are altering the way they collect recyclables. The City of Charlotte – and towns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Pineville – will now collect materials in 96-gallon roll carts. The towns of Matthews, Mint Hill and Davidson will provide additional bins to residents.

All of the municipalities will collect the same recyclables in one container, so no sorting is necessary. For specific information about recycling in your area, collection times, drop-off centers, and more, visit or contact your city or town directly. Visit the City of Charlotte's Recycle It! site for more City-related information.

NEW! What you CAN recycle:

  • Newspaper
  • Junk mail
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (except #6 plastic)
  • Wide-mouth plastic containers
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Cereal and food boxes
  • Milk and juice cartons (INCLUDES juice boxes)
  • Rigid plastics (toys, buckets, pet housing)
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Aluminum, metal food cans
  • Paperback books
  • Miscellaneous paper (white and colored, computer, copy, fax, legal pads, file folders, envelopes, sticky notes, index and business cards, blueprints, brochures, stapled paper, and paper with paperclips)

What you CANNOT recycle:

  •   Pizza boxes
  •   Shredded paper
  •   Glassware
  •   Wire hangers
  •   Bottle caps or lids
  •   Plastic food trays or cups
  •   Paper plates, napkins or paper towels
  •   Takeout food containers
  •   Plastic bags
  •   Ceramics
  •   Pots and pans
  •   Styrofoam
  •   Pencil shavings
  •   Candy or gum wrappers
  •   Hardbound books
  •   Rubber bands

Media contact: Laurette Hall (Mecklenburg County), 704-336-8393 or; Charita Curtis (City of Charlotte), 704-432-3538 or

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