The Art of Recycling – Get lean and green


According to, the U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.

Recycling is one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on the environment. But currently only 45% of Charlotteans recycle. By placing recyclables in your bin each week you are responsible for: saving energy, water and natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, creating jobs and saving space in landfills.

So get serious and do it right. Follow these recycling guidelines or visit for more information.

Fill Your Bin With:

No.1 and No. 2 recyclable plastics (milk jugs, liquid detergent bottles, plastic soft drink bottles, etc.)
Magazines and Shopping Catalogs
Plastic Bottles
Spiral Paper Cans
Steel Cans
Telephone Books
Aluminum cans
Junk mail
Mixed paper
Gift wrap

Don’t Bother:

Wax-coated paper products
Pizza boxes
Wet paper materials
Aluminum foil
Plastic grocery bags- (try local grocery stores and Walmart)
Old clothing
Small appliances
Styrofoam and Styrofoam products
Batteries-(Lowes and Home Depot)
Compact flourescent light bulbs- (Home Depot)

Recycling Etiquette –Do It Right

Remove lids from cans and bottles and discard
Rinse out bottles, cans and containers
Crush aluminum cans and plastic bottles
Place magazines and catalogues in bin or with newspapers or in a brown paper bag.
Place newspapers under the bin or on top or beside the glass, aluminum, metal and plastic in your bin. Or place them in a brown paper bag.
Make sure that all cardboard boxes are empty, cut into pieces no larger than 3 feet x 3 feet, flattened and stacked neatly at curbside.
You can pick up additional bins at local libraries or recycling centers.
Visit to find local self-service centers and what they accept.

What To Do with the Scary Stuff:

Mecklenburg County offers free household hazardous waste disposal to its residents living in Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Mint Hill and Pineville at the following full-service locations:

North Mecklenburg Recycling Center
12300 N. Statesville Road

Hickory Grove Recycling Center
8007 Pence Road

Foxhole Recycling Center
17131 Lancaster Highway

West Mecklenburg Recycling Center
8440 Byrum Drive

Acceptable Materials:

Paint, thinners, strippers, solvents, flammable oils, gas, kerosene, pesticides, cleaning agents, household batteries (alkaline and nickel-cadmium), lead acid batteries, photographic chemicals, aerosol cans, fluorescent light bulbs, pool chemicals, unknown chemicals.

Recycle and Win Contest

Coca-Cola is sponsoring Recycle and Win, a county-wide initiative to increase curbside recycling rates. You will have the opportunity to win a $50 gift voucher to Harris Teeter if you are caught recycling correctly by the Prize Patrol. There will be a total of 520 winners throughout January 2010. All you have to do to qualify is place a “Give It Back” sticker on your bin and get caught recycling the right way. Stickers can be picked up at customer service at  Harris Teeter.

For official rules visit:

Recycling factoids:

Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from NY to Seattle.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.

Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper.

A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.


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