How to Deal with Your Trash

One thing that all Durham residents have in common is we generate trash.   The Town's goal is to help you get rid of it in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.   Changes in the recycling market make that a challenge.   Contamination standards have become stricter and are tipping fees are increasing. This aim of this guide is to help you use Durham's Solid Waste program effectively.


There are currently 7 different types of plastics found in consumer goods packaging.  If you look at the bottom of the container, you'll find the plastic number.  1,2, and sometimes 5 have value.  They can be processed into beads that can then be reused.  

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard usually consists of 3 layers and is easily identified by the corrugated middle layer.   Think Amazon boxes and shipping containers.  In order to be accepted, it must not be covered with dirt, wax, or food residue. 

Cereal boxes, computer papers, and junk mail consist of a single layer and are classified as mixed paper. Its current tipping fee is 135 per ton.  DPW currently collects mixed paper and cardboard every other week and uses the cardboard value to help offset the cost of mixed paper.


Many beverages offer a choice between plastic bottles or aluminum cans, and the cans have more value than the bottles. Cans are collected every other week and are co-mingled with glass and plastics. 

Since Aluminum is valuable and most plastic and glass are not, Durham gets the most revenue when it is segregated.   The transfer station has a separate collection area next to the co-mingle dumpster.

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