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Winston-Salem Recycling: What Can You Really Recycle?

Winston-Salem recycling support varies from city to city. For those that live in our local community, Winston-Salem, NC, here’s a list of things you should recycle. Anything not on this list should not be recycled at this time unless taken to a specific facility. These exceptions are outlined below.

List Of Things You Can Recycle via Curbside Pickup in Winston-Salem

  • Corrugated cardboard – flattened and no larger that 3×3 feet (larger cardboard boxes may be taken to collection sites located throughout the city – see below)
  • Junk mail and office paper such as envelopes, notebook paper, office paper
  • Chipboard (usually brown or gray on the inside) such as cereal boxes, paper towel cores, facial tissue boxes, etc. Please remove any foil or plastic liners.
  • Newspapermagazinesphone books
  • Plastic bottles #1 through #7
  • Aluminum and steel food and beverage cans, glass food and beverage jars/bottles, aerosol cans.

List Of Items You Should NOT Recycle In Winston-Salem

Again, we repeat – please DO NOT include the following items in your curbside recycle bin!

  • Aluminum – foil, pie tins, scraps, etc.
  • Antifreeze containers
  • Books – that includes binders and spiral notebooks
  • Ceramic containers or deli containers
  • Glass – dishes, drinking glasses, window glass, mirrors, etc.
  • Light bulbs
  • Motor oil containers
  • Paint cans
  • Plastics – bags, newspaper bags, wrap, etc.
  • Pyrex containers
  • Styrofoam
  • Boxes with food – pizza boxes or any cardboard boxes that are contaminated with food or grease residue.

More Details On What NOT To Recycle

Ever wonder if a particular piece of cardboard or plastic can be recycled? Can you recycle cereal boxes, for example? Can you recycle plastic or cardboard that doesn’t have the recycling symbol on it? Below is some more detail on what you should, and should not, recycle.

Chipboard – this would be cereal boxes, dry food boxes, paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls. NO Styrofoam egg cartons, waxed aluminum foiled or plastic coated boxes, such as milk, juice cartons, frozen food cartons, etc. If the pkg has inside chipboard it can be recycled. NO pizza boxes, boxes with grease or food residue, or packing materials.

Glass bottles – only clear, green or brown. NO ceramics, dishes, drinking glasses, light bulbs, mirrors, Pyrex, window glass or any glass that is not a container.

Plastic bottles & jugs – The neck of the container must be smaller than the base or widest part. NO bottle caps or tops, containers that are not bottles, such as deli or yogurt containers, margarine tubs or wide-mouth prescription bottles.

Winston-Salem Recycling Tips and Guidelines

  • Do not place any recyclables in plastic bags.
  • Empty aerosol cans and remove the lids.
  • Remove caps and lids from glass food and beverage jars and bottles. Rinse the jars and bottles.
  • Rinse and flatten cans. If you use the type of can opener that leaves a sharp edge on the lid, stop before completely removing the lid and then push the lid down inside the can before flattening it.
  • Remove caps from plastic bottles, rinse and flatten. Plastic bottles #1 through #7 are accepted.
  • Remove newspapers from the plastic sleeve. No plastic bags are accepted.
  • Remove the plastic and foil liners from chipboard containers.
  • Shredded office paper may be placed in a brown paper bag in such a way as to reduce litter, and placed in the Winston-Salem recycling cart.
  • Flatten corrugated cardboard boxes before placing them in the cart.

Rollout Cart Program

The city now offers rollout Winston-Salem recycling carts that are picked up on a bi-weekly basis. These carts hold five-times as much as the green bins and protect materials to be recycled from the weather. Biweekly collection saves fuel, reduces emissions and saves you trips to the curb. Because the pickup is automated, here are some guidelines that will help with collection.
  • No sorting required. All items to be recycled can mingle in the cart.
  • Be sure the lid closes.
  • Put your cart out at the edge of the curb (not in the street) with the front of the cart facing the street.
  • Leave at least three feet of space around the cart.
  • Do not place the cart under low-lying limbs or power lines.
  • Put your cart out by 6 a.m. and remove by the next day.

Where To Recycle #5s, Electronics & Other Items In Winston-Salem

#5 Plastics & Batteries at Whole Foods

Plastic items marked with a recycling #5 and batteries can NOT go into your recycle bins here in Winston-Salem. But, our local Whole Foods store on Miller Street has setup a program to accept your #5 items and batteries for collection and recycling. So, gather them up at home and then make the trip to Whole Foods to make sure these are recycled appropriately. Thank you Whole Foods!

Cell Phones & Printer Cartridges

These can be mailed in to the City of Winston-Salem. Just pick up a pre-labeled bag for mailing in the Lobby of the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building (100 East First Street downtown) or call 336-727-8153 for more details. Then put your empty inkjey cartridges and cell phones into the bag and place them into your mailbox for the USPS to deliver safe and sound.

Recycle Electronics at Goodwill

Electronics can also be troublesome in that it is often dangerous to dispose of these items through traditional waste removal routes. So, take your unusable electronics to any of the local Goodwill of Northwest locations around Winston-Salem. This includes computers, printers and monitors. It does not matter where you bought it – just bring it, and they will take care of it properly. And there’s an added bonus: the donation is tax-deductible, so this is a great option to get a little return on your investment while also making our city a better place.

Electronics at Lowes Home Improvement & Home Depot Too

Lowes Home Improvement, a North Carolina company, offers recycling at the store entrance for customers to recycle cell phones, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and plastic shopping bags. They also offer a recycling program for wood pallets and will recycle your old appliances with the purchase of a new one. Lowes Garden Centers also now accept plastic plant trays, pots and tags to recycle.

Home Depot also accepts CFLs, rechargeable batteries and cell phones in receptacles near their customer service desks.

Take your Plastic Caps to Aveda

Plastic twist-off caps and lids can be recycled at Aveda salons.

Keep Winston-Salem And North Carolina Green!

That’s it! Might seem like a lot at first but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. And if you consider that the people in New York put out enough trash each day to fill the Empire State Building, you start to realize the impact your little recycling efforts have. If everyone recycled and composted instead of throwing everything into the trash, we could cut the amount of trash produced by more than half. You’ll probably notice yourself that once you get into recycling, and especially if you decide to compost as well, that you’re wheeling your trash can to the street less and less.

Source: www.cityofws.org/departments/sanitation/collections/recycle-today

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About Alex Schenker
Alex is a Winstonite (and Salemite) and tennis enthusiast. You'll catch him hitting balls at Miller Park, grabing a cold beer at 1st Street Draft House, or chowing down on a tasty tomato pie at Mozelle's just about any day of the week.