Trash & Recycling

Trash & Recycling

General Information

First Choice Disposal is our contractor to collect trash and recycling. First Choice’s trash and recycling collection day is Tuesday except as noted below. Please have trash and recycling containers outside by 7:00 a.m. on pickup days. Place recycling material apart from trash (e.g., on opposite sides of the driveway) so it will be clear which is which.

The First Choice phone number is 919-542-5398. Their website is

If roads have snow or ice on them, check the First Choice website for the latest information about collections.

2024 Holiday Office and Pickup Schedule

Memorial Day
Monday, May 27
Trash and recycling will be collected on Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Labor Day
Monday, Sept 2
Trash and recycling will be collected on Wednesday, September 4th, 2024

Recycling Guidelines for First Choice Disposal Customers

For Recyclables: Use a covered plastic bin or trash can, to withstand rain and snow. Otherwise any bin or container may be used. If plastic bags are used they must be clear, not opaque, so the contents are easily seen to be recyclables.

Do not sort recycling materials. Recyclables are sorted by machines and workers at the recycling plant.

All jars, bottles or any other containers should be rinsed with lids removed. Lids should be thrown away in the trash.

By state law, plastic bottles and cardboard cannot be put in landfills; they must be recycled.

  • Glass – All colors (green, brown, and clear). Rinsed and lids removed. Lids should be thrown away in the trash.
  • Plastic – Plastics numbered #1 & # 2. (Example-plastic bottles, jugs, jars and tubs with the number on the bottom.) Containers rinsed and lids removed.
  • Cans – Steel and aluminum. Cans should rinsed and lids thrown away in the trash.
  • Paper – Newspaper, magazines, junk mail, old phone books, packing paper, paperback books, hardback books (remove binding) and all cardboard (corrugated and non corrugated) such as detergent boxes, cereal, pizza boxes, moving boxes etc. Soiled cardboard boxes cannot be recycled, for example pizza boxes if they are left with any food residue.
  • Cardboard – All cardboard (corrugated and non-corrugated) is allowed. See website for rules relating to moving materials and multiple boxes larger than 4ftx4ft.


Not Recyclable through First Choice:

Do not put these items in the recycle: Animal waste, used tissue products, aluminum foil, take out containers, light bulbs, styrofoam, plastic bags, bubble wrap, garden hoses, hazardous containers, plastic cups, aluminum foil/trays or take out trays or containers, shredded paper.

These items are NOT collected with recycle: Lids from containers, styrofoam, ceramics, clay pots, light bulbs, bubble wrap, oil, AC or oil filters, tissue products, tires, batteries, electronics, household cleaning products, paint, articles of clothing, yard debris, wood pieces, toiletries, shredded paper, garden hoses, plastic toys/furniture.

No whole or partial animal remains are allowed in the trash or recycle for collection.

Chatham County’s Comprehensive Recycling Program

  • General Information: 919-542-5516. (Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • The closest Recycling Center is located at 11631 US 15-501 North (north of Fearrington Village; turn right just past the gas station/Ta Contento at Cole Park Plaza). This facility also accepts household trash.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.,  Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • You must have a Chatham County Waste Management Dept decal on your car to use this facility. Decals are automatically mailed in February to people who have paid “solid waste management fees” that are part of your county tax bill. If you are new to the county, call to obtain your decal.

Kind of items Accepted for Recycling:

  • Glass (separate bins for clear, brown, and green/blue)
  • Glossy magazines & catalogues
  • Rigid plastic bottles (# 1 – 7). “Bottle” means neck smaller than base
  • Corrugated cardboard & brown grocery bags
  • Newspaper (including inserts)
  • Aluminum and steel (tin) cans
  • Mixed paper (clean, dry paper that tears)
  • Cooking oil, any containers, any oil
  • Compact fluorescent and LED lightbulbs

If you have any questions about recycling please contact Shannon Culpepper, Recycling and Education Specialist at or 919-545-7874. You can also contact the Main Office Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm at (919) 542-5516 or email us anytime at

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers

  • Phone 919-542-5516.
  • Located off US Hwy 64 West; turn right on County Landfill Road six miles west of Pittsboro.

Kind of items accepted:

  • Corrosive (examples: oven cleaner, bleach, household and auto batteries, and other products that can cause skin burns)
  • Reactive (examples: chlorine, lye, and other products that can explode or emit toxic gases)
  • Toxic (examples: pesticides, herbicides, antifreeze, and other poisonous materials; fluorescent bulbs)
  • Ignitable (examples: gasoline, turpentine, motor oil, other flammable materials)

Other Recycling Opportunities

  • Plastic bags can be recycled at local grocery stores and can be re-used at various thrift stores, e.g., PTA Thrift Shop, Chatham Habitat, Club Nova or the Chatham Marketplace.
  • Styrofoam (clean peanuts and bubble wrap can be re-used at Pak-Mail at Cole Park). If not reused, they are trash.
  • Ceramics and clay pots: donate or trash.
  • Light bulbs: incandescent bulbs are trash. Compact fluorescent or LED bulbs are hazardous waste and should be disposed of at a County collection center.
  • Wine corks are collected at Chatham Marketplace, Whole Foods, or St. Thomas More.