The Department of Solid Waste Management has 65-gallon carts and 96-gallon carts for single family homes. The 65 gallon garbage carts are ideal for individuals, small families and those who are dedicated recyclers and/or composters.
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Use our convenient ReCollect tool online and/or the Durham Rollout app for Apple or Android to keep track of your collection days. You can sign up for reminders and service alerts, view and print a calendar, look up how to dispose of a particular item, request a bulky item pickup, and even play a waste sorting game to test your knowledge!
All carts should be placed at the curb before 5 a.m. on your scheduled collection day. Leave a minimum of three feet between carts. If carts are placed too close to each other, they are likely to be knocked over while the cart is being serviced. The City will not be responsible for damaged property if carts are obstructed by objects and/or will not be serviced.
Place a request with Durham One Call online or by calling 919-560-1200 to make a request for repairs or replacements. Place the broken cart at the curb on your day of collection so it can be serviced. The cart will not be serviced if it is not at the curb. Occupants will be charged a fee to replace carts damaged by fire, vandalism, vehicle damage, or other negligent acts.
Garbage: Solid Waste Management will service a maximum of 2 garbage carts for non-exempt residents, and 1 garbage cart for exempt residents. The 2nd cart is leased at an additional annual fee of $18 per year.
Recycling: Residents are permitted up to 4 blue carts at no extra charge.
Pricing is subject to change.
There are a number of reasons that we might not be able to complete a collection. If you met all of the requirements below and we missed you, please report a missed collection and we will attempt to make it up before your next collection day. The best way to know for sure if to sign up for our convenient service alerts: Find Your Collection Day / Holiday Schedule / Calendar | Durham, NC (durhamnc.gov).
1. Be sure your cart is at the curb no later than 6 am on your collection day. Best to put it out the night before.2. The cart must not be obstructed. It must be a safe distance (generally 3 feet is good) from other carts, parked cars, mailboxes, fences, utlility poles, and any other property that could be damaged by a mechanical arm during collection.3. Your street must be accessible. Road closures are generally rare but do happen for water main breaks, street maintenance, etc.4. If this is a holiday week, collections are usually pushed back one day. You can sign up for collection reminders or use the Durham Rollout app to have access to your address' collection schedule.5. Sometimes we have personnel and / or vehicle issues that prevent us from completing routes. If you sign up for service alerts, we notify you when this happens on your route.
This question also sometimes comes in with the idea to move trash to every other week and do recycling every week. There are a few reasons that isn't advisable at the moment, but we keep performance measures and evaluate all programs continually. We can promise that the idea of garbage collection every other week sounds much better than it actually is, especially in the summer months. Currently, Durham residents produce an average of about 1,500 pounds of garbage per household annually, and about 400 pounds of recycling annually. Residents can recycle all they want as we will provide up to 4 recycling carts for free. It would cost a significant amount to buy additional trucks and hire additional personnel and would provide little to no return. The environmental harm from running the additional vehicles would far outweigh any slight incremental environmental benefits that would be realized from higher collection frequencies. Residents can help by ensuring that boxes are broken down and flattened, plastic bottles, jugs and milk cartons are flattened and so on, to make best use of the space in their recycling carts.
Recycling can be really easy. You can, but do not have to get caught up in the granular details of what is recyclable. It's better to err on the side of not including contamination as that can actually lead to fewer items being ultimately recycled as whole loads can be spoiled at times by contaminants. Stick with what you know -- bottles, cans, milk jugs, paper and cardboard, and you'll be an extremely effective recycler!
The City of Durham contracts with Sonoco Recycling in Raleigh to process all recyclables. Most local municipalities and counties either use Sonoco or Recycle America. We collect the contents of your blue cart curbside, deliver them to the City’s Transfer Station on E. Club Blvd, where it is all loaded into trailers and delivered to Sonoco for processing (sorting, and removal of unacceptable items). Sonoco has a combination of machines and people sorting the recyclables, and once sorted, they are bundled and sold to be reused/recycled. This video takes you on a tour of Sonoco’s facility: https://youtu.be/zN9BYsnVwHM
We do offer free Bulky Item curbside pickup up to once per week for 3 items or less per pickup. You can get more information about what is eligible for pickup and schedule a day for your collection online.
Residents should take items to the Waste Disposal and Recycling Center at 2115 E. Club Blvd for proper disposal. Weight of the items will determine the cost of disposal. Solid Waste Management will not service any carts containing construction or non-household items. This includes materials such as carpentry, doors, windows, and cabinets.
Most apartment complexes and townhome communities are considered multi-family properties and are not serviced by the City. Contact your property manager to find out about waste collection for your particular home.