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Solid Waste Services - Recycling in Washington

Why Recycle?

Washington residents receive weekly curbside recycling service provided by the City of Washington. Recycle List

The City carries recyclables collected from residents to the East Carolina Vocational Center in Greenville, where they are sorted and prepared for the recycling market.  At times, when the market is doing well, the City earns money from the sale of recyclables.  This money helps to offset the cost of providing this service to City residents.

Every resident can help keep the cost of solid waste services down by recycling as many items as possible every week. Preparing items for recycling is easy and throwing these items into the recycling bin takes no more time than throwing them into the garbage can. Recycling trash also leaves more room in the green garbage carts for non-recyclable garbage.

Perhaps even more important is the fact that recycling is good for the environment. It keeps us from using up expensive landfill space so quickly. It reduces the need to harvest or mine new natural resources to make products. Products can be made from recycled materials using less energy and water than the same products made from virgin materials.

How Can You Get a Recycling Bin?

Recycling bins were delivered to each house in the city when the program was started in 1995. If the bin is missing from your home, call the City's Public Works Department at (252) 975-9302 to request another one. Each household may request up to 4 recycling bins.

What Can Be Recycled in Washington?

  • Newspapers, inserts, magazines and catalogs
    These should be dry. 
  • Aluminum and metal cans
    Food and beverage containers only. Rinse cans out. There is no need to remove labels. Crush cans to save space. Scrap metal, paint cans, aerosol cans, motor oil or antifreeze cans, aluminum foil, plates or pie tins can not be accepted for recycling.
  • Plastic containers — PETE #1 and HDPE #2
    Items such as soft drink bottles; milk jugs; detergent, bleach and fabric softener bottles; and cooking oil bottles. Rinse containers. Discard caps with garbage. There is no need to remove labels. Crush containers to save space. Plastic wrap, plastic bags or motor oil and antifreeze bottles can not be accepted for recycling.
  • Glass — brown, clear and green
    Bottles and jars only. Rinse bottles and jars. Discard caps with garbage. There is no need to remove labels. Light bulbs, plate glass or mirrors can not be accepted for recycling.

What Can Be Made From the Items Washington Recycles?

  • Plastic can be recycled into carpet, rope, fiberfill, textiles, fence posts, industrial paints, lawn furniture, can liners, plant pots, and types of plastic used to manufacture durable goods.
  • Aluminum cans can be recycled into new soda cans and aluminum siding.
  • Paper can be recycled into more paper, building insulation and packaging.
  • Glass can be recycled into new glass containers, decorative tiles and paving material.

How Much Trash Do We Generate That Could Be Recycled?

  • Every hour, Americans empty 2.5 million plastic bottles.
  • Every three months, enough aluminum is thrown away in America to rebuild our country's entire commercial air fleet.
  • Every Sunday, more than 500,000 trees are used to produce 88% of newspapers that are never recycled. A ton of recycled newspapers saves 17 trees.

How Does Recycling Save Energy?

  • It takes 65% less energy to make a recycled steel can than a new can from new materials.
  • It takes 95% less energy to make an aluminum can than a new can fom new materials.
  • Each ton of recycled glass saves 9 gallons of fuel oil.
  • One ton of recycled plastic saves 14 barrels of crude oil.