Reset. Recycle.

A whole new way to recycle in Greensboro

Greensboro's residential recycling program will change as of July 1. Download the new City of Greensboro Recycling Guide. See the following for details.
What's changing?

recycling and trash cartsThe following items are no longer accepted in the residential recycling program. These items should be put in your green City trash can:

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Gabled cartons, such as milk, soup, and juice cartons
  • Large plastic items, such as buckets and lawn furniture
  • Pots and pans
  • Shredded paper

Aerosol cans should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Convenience Site for proper and safe disposal.

The City's 20 recycling drop-off locations will also be removed.  

Why the change?

Why is recycling changing?

graph showing China importa bans impacts on exports

For 30 years, China was the largest importer of recyclable paper and plastic. In 2018, China put significant restrictions on imported recycling, changing the world recycling industry. Because of these changes, the US has a large supply of recyclables, but no demand for them. This caused prices for all recyclables to fall.

Some communities have seen significant changes to recycling, including stopping recycling all together. To keep Greensboro recycling, we need to make changes to our residential program.

Why no glass?

Why no glass?no glass bottles or jars

In the past, Greensboro received a share of the revenue from the sale of recyclables sorted by our contractor. But now, we must pay to recycle glass. It costs our recycling contractor $22 a ton - and that does not include the cost to sort it from other recyclables and ship it to the next plant. In order to be better stewards of our tax dollars, we chose to remove glass from our recycling stream.

Glass also weighs a lot - about 25 percent of Greensboro's total recycling by weight. Because recycling will now cost the City money, the lighter our recycling stream, the lower the cost to recycle.  

What do I do with glass?
black bag of trash

What do I do with glass now? 

Glass should be put into your green trash cart. The city is working to identify drop-off locations for glass recycling, but those will not open until after July 1.






What if I keep putting glass in my recycling?

What if I keep putting glass in my recycling?Hopper Camera with Plastic Bags and Yard Waste

Greensboro monitors what goes in recycling carts under the Recycle Right program. If you have items we do not accept in your recycling -- called "contamination" -- our truck drivers may tag your address and you'll be sent a postcard detailing the contamination that was in your recycling cart. After July 1, glass and the other materials listed above will be considered a contaminant in recycling. 

If you contaminate recycling three times within a 6-month period, your recycling cart will be removed for non-compliance with recycling guidelines.


What do I do with my excess recycling?

Due to the increased cost of recycling and ongoing contamination issues, the City's 20 recycling drop-off locations will be removed.  

If you have excess recycling, call 373-CITY (2489) to purchase a second recycling cart for your home for $50. To be sure you’re recycling right, download the GSO Collects app and use the Waste Wizard to find out what goes where. 

Have more questions about these changes? Find and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Nextdoor or email us with your questions.

 Together, we can keep Greensboro recycling.