New Rules For Construction Waste at Waste and Recycling Centers, Mulch Sale 50% off, Mulch Delivery Available, Reducing plastic use, Summer’s Trashy Reading Recommendations, Waste Reducing News from  Durham and Wake.

Changes to Construction and Demolition  at Waste and Recycling Centers Beginning  August 3, 2020: 

Limited amounts of Residential construction and demolition (C&D) waste may be brought in by Orange County Residents from only their primary residence to the Waste and Recycling Centers (other than Bradshaw Quarry which will NOT accept construction and demolition waste). 

Orange County residents may bring up to 60 cubic feet of residential construction and demolition waste per household per day or weekend period from their primary residence to one of the accepting Waste and Recycling Centers. 

• Loads exceeding 60 cubic feet of construction and demolition waste will not be accepted. 

• Unloading part of a load larger than 60 cubic feet of construction and demolition waste will not be allowed. If the load exceeds 60 cubic feet of C&D, no material may be unloaded.  

• Proof of residency is required prior to unloading of material.

• Separate dumpsters will be provided for C&D only. 

• Hired contractors may not use the Center.  

Allowable construction and demolition waste for this purpose is limited to:

• Kitchen cabinets

• Insulation

• Carpet/ flooring

• Wood: including lumber, plywood/pressed board or any wood that is painted/pressure treated or stained. 

• Doors, windows, siding 

• Deconstructed Playground set made of lumber

• Decks, stairs 

• Bathrooms toilets, sinks

• Concrete

• Bricks

• Cinder Blocks

• Sheetrock 

• Tile 

• Shingles 

NOTE: Scrap metal. corrugated cardboard and unpainted, untreated, solid sawn lumber associated with construction must be recycled in the appropriate bin at the WRCs. 

Sixty cubic feet could be calculated as what would fit in the bed of a pickup truck that was     two feet high, five feet wide and six feet long  2’x5’x6’ or equivalent dimensions totaling 60 cubic feet. 

The C&D collected will be buried at the County’s own C&D landfill on Eubanks Road. This new ordinance also clarifies previously conflicting and sometimes imprecise information on what is allowed at WRCs. It also provides convenient and safe unloading of materials for the home remodeler working on his/her primary residence.  This does not include or allow C&D waste from rental units.   That material may be taken to the C&D landfill and appropriate fees paid.

Half-off Mulch Sale and Mulch Delivery Option 

As of  July 15, Orange County has reduced the price of mulch 50% from $25 per three cubic yard scoop to $12.50. Sale ends Saturday September 12.   We can also DELIVER: Mulch Delivery Fee of $50.00 within 10 Miles of the Landfill and Disposal Center at 1514 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516   Delivery Fee between 11 and 20 Miles of the Disposal Center is $75. Minimum Mulch Purchase for delivery is 6 scoops (approximately 18 cubic yards). Delivery is contingent upon access to a safe, dry and even drop-off site. Contact Kristina Witosky, Disposal Manager for details (919) 918-4916 or

Glass On The Side Collected 35 tons in June

In June, Orange County, with its neighbors Alamance and Durham, collected 35 tons of separated glass bottles and jars, saving about $2,300 in recycling processing fees and increasing efficiency of glass recovery.  This glass came from residents voluntarily separating glass at drop off sites. Bottles are trucked to Strategic Materials in Wilson, NC where they become feedstock for products from new bottles to insulation.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there appears to be increased use of single serve disposable utensils, plates and cups for food service as there is no dining in and only take out. In response, we bring you some alternative ideas on how to reduce or even eliminate use of plastic bags and wrap at home, replacing them with permanent, washable wraps and bags. 

Orange Solid Waste Education and Outreach  Coordinator Kyra Levau reports below her personal success using washable, permanent silicone bags to replace plastic food storage bags and ‘bee wrap’ to replace aluminum foil and other single use food wrap. 

“With a lot more people now cooking at home a lot more, let’s talk  plastic reduction in the kitchen. Two of my favorite kitchen swaps are reusable food storage bags and bee’s wrap. By investing in these reusable products, I haven’t had to purchase Ziploc bags, aluminum foil or plastic wrap in over 6 years.  

I purchased the silicone storage bags from an online zero-waste store and have a few different sizes. Most reusable silicone bags are dishwasher safe. I love using mine to store berries and bananas that are going bad and put them in the freezer to use for smoothies later. You can also get your meat and cheese plastic-free at the grocery store by asking them to place it in your reusable bag instead of their plastic one. You may have to wait until after the pandemic is over to try this one.

Bees wrap is a great alternative to plastic wrap and foil and can last for years. For those that have tried the bee’s wrap and don’t like it, I recommend stretchy silicone bowl covers. All these items can be readily found on line.

These two easy swaps are long-lasting and will keep more plastic out of your kitchen and the landfills for years to come!”

The non-profit organization Don’t Waste Durham (DWD) creates solutions that prevent trash around the Triangle and beyond. According to member Jennifer Hodgkinson, “We are planning to initiate an informal study to address takeout waste across the Triangle. Right now we are focused on trying to decrease the amount of extras (napkins, plastic utensils, straws, too many condiments) that come automatically with most takeout orders, especially with the rise in takeout orders due to Covid-19 and food delivery services”. Don’t Waste Durham will be sending out surveys to consumers to learn the extent to which people really use these “extra” items and to learn if they would prefer to opt-out of receiving these items when ordering. DWD will also send surveys out to area restaurant owners to learn more about the costs of these items and how they use them. Hodgkinson adds “If people can opt-out of tomatoes on their burgers, they should be able to opt-out of extra waste they may not use”. Follow DWD on social media at @dontwastedurham to know when the surveys are available.

Trashy Summer Reading

For some scintillating summer reading, try these recent publications: 

 “Second Hand, Travels in the New Global Garage Sale’ by Adam Minter, Bloomsbury Publishing 2019. 

Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) has recently published “Textile Recovery in the U.S.: A Roadmap to Circularity,” which highlights the current state of textile waste in the U.S. and outlines “a future-state system in which textiles are recovered for best and highest use.”.  

Locally based plastics recycling expert Nina Butler has recently published a paper and testified in Congress on ‘The paradox of plastic” – how its light weight and durability has drastically reduced the energy and material costs of shipping and packaging while creating a petroleum-based ‘permanent’ waste stream. Hear her testimony at  and read more  at

From neighboring Wake County, Solid Waste Outreach and Marketing Director Bianca Howard reports on their recent one-day sale of compost bins: “Wake County Solid Waste Management worked with Brand Builders to host an online sale of Earth Machines. Orders were taken for the entire month of May, followed by distribution of bins and accessories in June. The 2020 sale resulted in 1,651 bins sold, smashing the 2019 record of 670 bin sales. Interest compost bins seems to track the renewed interest in gardening, reflected in high sales at garden centers”. 

Orange County is exploring safe and secure ways to resume selling compost bins again. Watch this space for developments.   

For more ”Trash Talk”, tune in to the 3-D News on WHUP 104.7 FM Hillsborough the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 8-9am, also streaming.