Recycle Right blog

Mixed Recycling

Wishful recycling (placing items in recycling that is actually garbage) costs Mecklenburg County over $1.6M per year. Those costs arise from the special processing cost that the County pays to separate the unacceptable materials out of the recycling stream and then the cost to transport and dump the ill-placed objects (trash) into the landfill. Unfortunately, wishful recycling is growing each year and more contaminates are entering our local recycling stream. Every household in Mecklenburg county is encouraged to be familiar with this Recycling Mini Guide to ensure only the correct items are placed in curbside recycling bins.

Mecklenburg County is unique in that every jurisdiction within the County’s geographical area follows the same residential curbside guidelines. So, from the City of Charlotte to Pineville the residential recycling messaging is the same.

If our residents learn how to put the right thing, in the right can, it will go to the right place and we will all benefit! Please watch this 4-minute video outlining our local recycling process and share it widely with your friends, family and wider network.

In addition, the Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Program is offering FREE waste reduction and recycling educational presentations to community groups. The interactive presentations are typically 30-60 minutes in length and are now performed virtually. They always have  ample time for discussion and questions at the end of the presentations.

With the new virtual format, the County handles all online registration and technology logistics. Hosting organizations simply need to schedule a date and time with the County’s educators and then share a custom registration link with their members via email, social media, website posting etc.

Here are just a few examples of the local residential groups the County hopes to reach:

  • Homeowners’ Associations
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Professional Associations/Clubs: Industry, Trade, Business
  • Chambers of Commerce/Networking Groups

Please encourage your community groups to contact Meck Solid Waste at or visit for more information and to schedule a virtual learning experience.

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