Recycling Guidelines


Recycling Guidelines

Updated June 4, 2021

Note:  In the last paragraph but one, the phrase “First Choice asks people not to include caps and lids” is correct.  However, the later statement, “Ensure that your cans, bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs are empty and relatively clean, and then put the caps and lids back on” does not apply to First Choice, which handles most of the curbside recycling.  From the First Choice website, “All items should be rinsed with lids removed“, and later, for both glass and plastic, “Lids should be thrown away in the trash“.

Recycling—What can be recycled? What should not?—is a topic that generates a lot of confusion. Shannon Culpepper is a Recycling and Education Specialist with Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling. She gave a presentation to Women of Fearrington in January, and recently posted the following information on NextDoor.


I have received a lot of calls and emails in the past month about recycling in Fearrington Village specifically. There seems to be a lot of confusion, so I thought this would be a good way to help clear it up!

Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling operates the 12 Collection Centers around the county, including the Cole Park center. Curbside service in Fearrington is provided mostly by First Choice Disposal. The Collection Centers and First Choice accept all of the same items in our recycling programs:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Steel cans
  • Carboard boxes: please empty and flatten.
  • Paper: junk mail, magazines, paperboard boxes (cereal, pasta, crackers, etc.), newspaper, office paper, paperback books, paper rolls (from toilet paper and paper towels), and paper cartons.
  • Plastic bottles, jugs, and jars: any plastic container that has a neck smaller than the base. For example: soda bottles, water bottles, detergent bottles, mayonnaise jars, etc.
  • Plastic tubs: tubs have a plastic lid that can be put back on. For example, a multi-serve yogurt container is a tub, but an individual yogurt container is not a tub since it has that aluminum peel top.
  • Both recycling programs also accept glass bottles and jars.

In your curbside recycling bin, you can include glass bottles and jars in with all the other items listed above. At the Collection Centers you must keep glass bottles and jars separate and place them in the glass recycling bin.

I am also aware that First Choice asks people not to include caps and lids. After speaking with them about it recently, they are concerned that the containers will be full of food and liquid if a cap or lid is on. Ensure that your cans, bottles, jugs, jars, and tubs are empty and relatively clean, and then put the caps and lids back on. Corks and caps should not be put back on glass bottles and jars though.

If you have loose lids, those should go in the trash. Anything smaller than a standard size post-it is too small to be properly recycled.

 You can reach Shannon at, or call 919-545-7874.