Residential Trash Services

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Household Trash Collection

The Recycling & Trash Services Division provides weekly curbside trash pick up for residential and commercial city trash customers within the City limits. The division is funded by monthly fees charged by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority to City Recycling & Trash Services customers based on their chosen level of service.

Trash and recycling services within the Downtown Central Business District (CBD) are provided by the city's "Bag It" program. 

 Sign up for Service

Contact: Cape Fear Public Utility Authority 910.332.6550, 235 Government Center Drive Wilmington, NC 28403 or visit our link on their website here.

Included in your Service /Rates

City service includes roll out trash container/cart, recycling cart, yard waste and bulky collection. Trash and yard waste are collected weekly and recycling is collected bi-weekly. Large (bulky) items are collected upon request by calling the Recycling & Trash Services Office at 910.341.7875. A choice of two trash cart sizes is available: a 95-gallon and a 35-gallon cart. By maximizing the amount you recycle, your household may only require a small cart.

As of July 1, 2014, the fee for the regular sized (maxi) cart is $26.29 per month and the mini cart fee is $21.36 per month. The monthly rates include weekly trash and yard waste collections, bi-weekly recycling, as well as bulky item collection upon request. Extra bagged trash that does not fit in your cart requires the purchase of orange extra trash stickers.

Holiday Schedule

The Recycling & Trash Services Office does not collect items on 4th of July, Thanksgiving  Day, Christmas Day or New Years Day. Holiday pickup schedules will be announced prior to the date. The administrative office is closed on all City-recognized Holidays (New Years Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans' Day; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day)

Collection time

All household trash, recycling, yard waste, and scheduled bulky pick-up must be at the curb by 7:00 am on your weekly pickup day. All materials (refuse, recycling, yard waste, and scheduled bulky/electronic or metal pick-up) may be set out on the public right-of-way after 12 noon the day before your scheduled pick up day. Please make sure trash will not blow away, block traffic, or storm drains. All containers must be removed from the city right of way by the end of that day. 

Household Trash Preparation

Household trash must be bagged and in your city rollout cart/container. Please double bag extra smelly trash such as diapers, cat litter, etc to prevent leakage. Please do not overfill your container. The lid should close. Bagged trash not in the container will not be picked up without orange extra trash stickers.

The City Service will NOT collect:

  • Liquids or Sharp items which are dangerous for city crews
  • Dirt, rocks, concrete or commercial demolition materials
  • Hot ashes
  • Wet Paint liquids (paint cans must be dried out completely or taken to NHC Household Hazardous Waste Facility)
  • Hazardous Materials (Please deposit at the NHC Household Hazardous Waste Facility)
  • Chemicals or pesticides (Please deposit at the NHC Household Hazardous Waste Facility)
  • Medical waste - New Hanover County manages two drop-off locations to take prescription drugs to year-round, no questions asked. There is a locked metal container with a drop slot in the first floor lobbies of the County Jail (3950 Juvenile Center Road, Castle Hayne) or the Historic Courthouse (24 N. 3rd Street, Wilmington). Also, New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) conducts twice-yearly collection events in the spring & fall. For more information, contact Kathy Rawlings at 910.815.5152 or
  • Flammables
  • Tires (Residents may take 5 tires to the New Hanover County landfill to dispose of at no charge.
  • Items too large or heavy for collection trucks

Many of the above items are available for disposal with New Hanover County.

Bulky Item Collection

Wood, plastic, metal, furniture and electronic items are considered Bulky Items and can be scheduled for pickup at no additional charge. This pickup is done by appointment only. Call the Office of Recycling & Trash Services at 910.341.7875 or submit the form via Cape Fear Public Utility's website (include all items you have for pickup) to schedule an appointment no later than 4:30 pm on the business day before your trash day.  If items are called in or submitted online after 4:30 pm, the items will be scheduled for the following week.  Items should be placed in the right of way only after an appointment is made. 

Bulky items, metal bulky items, electronic items (TVs, computers, and printers) and yard waste must be placed neatly in separate piles on the right-of-way for pick up. Three different trucks service these items.

For the safety of our work crews, please bend or remove nails from lumber.

Household waste that will not fit in a full trash cart is NOT a bulky item. These extra items must be placed in a bag and have an extra trash sticker attached before they will be collected.

Note: Demolition materials from contracted work should not be put out for City collection. Removal of these materials is the responsibility of the contractor. Call the New Hanover County Landfill 910.798.4450 for questions on disposal options.

Do you have construction materials, furniture, housewares or toys that are still in good condition? Please consider donating to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore located at 1203 S. 3rd Street or 7330 Market Street;910.686.9800

Bicycles that are still in good condition can be refurbished for charitable redistribution by contacting the Two-Wheeler Dealer at 4408 Wrightsville Avenue; 910.799.6444.

Yard Waste Collection

Yard waste is collected on the same day as regular trash. Have your items in the right-of-way for collection after 12 noon the day before and no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection.

The following are requirements for yard waste collection:

  • Limbs must be no more than 4 feet in length and 6 inches in diameter.
  • City trash customers can set out up to 7 cubic yards of yard waste in the right-of-way for collection. This is equal to a pile approximately 5-feet wide, 11-feet long and 3½-feet high – about the same size as 8 large size garbage or recycling carts.
  • All loose yard waste (grass clippings, pine straw, vines, pine cones and leaves) must be containerized. A container may be a yard debris bag, a box, or a personal 35-gallon container (not to exceed 50 lbs.). 
  • Yard waste (of any kind) will not be collected if it is in wheelbarrows, trailers, tarps, or the city-provided trash or recycling cart.
  • Yard waste of any kind cut down and prepared by contractors cannot be picked up by City crews. Please be aware that there is no exception to this.
  • Please do not mix non-organic items (roofing tiles, scrap lumber, rocks, etc.) with your yard waste.
  • Yard waste is collected on the same day as regular trash. Have your items in the right-of-way for collection no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection.
  • Yard waste should NEVER be placed in the street. It must be placed only in the right-of-way for collection and cannot block water meters, storm drains or obstruct the view of motorists.
  • Violations of Recycling & Trash Services Codes are subject to a $50.00 per day civil fine.
  • Please be patient with us in times when storms generate large volumes of debris. 
  • Yard Waste cannot pick up Palm Tree trunks, dirt, bricks, rocks, or concrete. 

View our yard waste information brochure.

Trash Tips

  • Have your trash cart at the curbside, no later than 7 a.m. on your day of service
  • Promptly remove your trash cart from the public right of way after service
  • Do not leave extra trash bags beside your trash cart without an orange "extra trash" sticker attached
  • Properly prepare your trash bags to ensure against spillage
  • Do not pile up bulky items until you have called our office at 910.341.7875
  • Call: 910.341.7875 to schedule a pick up

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