Frequently Asked Questions

Improved Recycling Service 
Coming July 5, 2011

Residential recycling in Concord is about to get even better!

Beginning July 5, 2011, residents will have more recycling options and new black wheeled carts for easier curbside placement. Concord’s new services will be provided using fully automated collection vehicles that operate a mechanical arm to lift the carts, making service faster and more efficient. The improved recycling service will make it easier than ever for you to make a commitment to become an avid recycler! 

Why do we need to improve the City’s recycling program & what will it cost me?

  • The improved recycling program will increase recycling, save tax dollars, reduce air pollution, and make recycling more convenient for everyone. 
  • Recycling materials into new products reduces energy consumption, preserves natural resources, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. 
  • The City does not charge residents a fee for recycling now and will not charge a fee for these improvements.

Why do I need a new recycling cart?

  • The new black recycling carts hold more, increase collection efficiency, and reduce the cost for recycling, allowing the City to save valuable tax dollars using this automated collection process.

Tell me about the new black recycling carts!

  • The City will provide each resident, at no charge, one new 96-gallon black recycling cart with a lid to keep material dry and prevent litter. This cart remains the property of the City of Concord.
  • The new black cart replaces the current 18-gallon green bin. Due to the new automated collection process, the old bins can not be used after July 5, 2011.
  • The new black cart is the same size as your wheeled garbage cart; it will hold 5 times more recyclable material than the 18-gallon bin.  (The increased capacity will accommodate the newly accepted materials and allow for every-other-week service.)
  • The new cart is easy to use and navigate.

When will I get my new black recycling cart?

  • Delivery of the new carts will begin the week of May 23 and should take about 4 weeks to complete. 
  • Do not begin using your new black cart until your scheduled collection date on or after July 5.
  • Any changes to this schedule will be posted on the City’s website at

Beginning July 5, what can I recycle?

Residents will be able to recycle many new items to further reduce the waste going to the landfill. Please rinse all food, drink, or other residues from items first. Here’s an updated list of recyclable items:

NEW! Empty Aerosol Cans (no paint cans)

NEW! All Plastics (no Styrofoam, bags, or film)

NEW!  Wide-Mouth Plastic Containers & Lids  

NEW!  Rigid Plastic Containers & Small Hard Plastic Toys  

NEW!  Milk & Juice Cartons, & Juice Boxes 

NEW!  Shredded Paper (placed in clear bag)

  • Aluminum Cans
  • Metal Food Cans & Lids
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Cereal & Food Boxes
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Mixed Paper, Newspapers with Inserts, & Junk Mail
  • Paperback Books
  • Magazines & Phone Books
  • Spiral Paper Cans (with plastic lids detached)


What about these items?

  • Computers, printers, and old televisions: Call 704.920.5555 to schedule curbside pickup.
  • Small appliances like toasters, vacuum cleaners, and blenders: Call 704.920.5555 to schedule curbside pickup.
  • CFL light bulbs (spiral energy saving bulbs): Do not place them in your recycling cart or garbage cart (they contain mercury) – take them to Cabarrus County Public Libraries, the County Manager’s Office, or the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
  • Pizza boxes: Are not recyclable.
  • Plastic Bags, Plastic Film, or Plastic Wrap (recycle shopping bags at participating stores).

Do I have to give up my old green bin?

  • You can keep your old bin (however if you continue to use it for recycling, you must transfer its contents to the new black cart for pickup).
  • To recycle your old 18-gallon green bins, place them next to your new black cart in July and they will be recycled into new 96-gallon carts.

Will my collection schedule & day change?

  • All residents will keep their current collection day for garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection.
  • Recyclables will be collected every-other-week, but your collection day will remain the same.
  • You will receive a calendar to help you keep track of your recycling collection schedule.
  • Additionally, you will be able to find your collection schedule by visiting the City’s website at

I’m interested in how the improved program will decrease emissions!

  • Changing the collection schedule to every-other-week requires fewer collection vehicles.
  • Fewer vehicles will result in lower fuel consumption and reduce total fleet emissions, helping to improve local air quality.

What about me, I live in an apartment complex?

  • The City does not provide recycling to apartments with 6 or more units.
  • Contact your property management company about providing recycling services to your apartment complex.

I live in a condominium complex, can I recycle using the new black carts?

  • Yes – if your condo is developed with roads that can accommodate the automated collection equipment, curbside service may be available using the new recycling carts.
  • If your condo is developed with roads that can not accommodate the automated collection equipment, a centralized recycling collection point may be required.

Do I have to recycle & take the new cart?  

  • No, but recycling is encouraged as it is best for the environment. Call 704.920.5555 to cancel the delivery of the new black recycling cart or for removal of the cart after it has been delivered.
  • The City will no longer pick up recycling from the 18-gallon green bins currently in use after the new program is implemented in July. 

Can I have two black recycling carts?

  • The new black carts will provide more than 5 times the storage volume than the 18-gallon green bins, and should be large enough to hold all the recycling from an average household for two weeks. 
  • We encourage everyone to recycle as much as possible, but please wait until January 1, 2012 before requesting an additional black recycling cart. After January 1, 2012, the City will supply a second black recycling cart to anyone who needs one at no cost.

How do I place my carts for service?

  • cart placement photoOn your scheduled pickup day, place your cart curbside, but not in the street.
  • The cart's wheels should be pointed toward your house (away from street).
  • If you live on a street without a curb, place them roadside 2 to 3 feet from the edge of pavement.
  • Do not place carts on sidewalks.
  • Place each cart 2 feet apart and 2 feet away from parked cars, mailboxes, fire hydrants, etc.

What do I do with recycling and garbage carts if I move?

  • Your recycling and garbage carts are property of the City of Concord, and coded to a specific street address. Please leave the recycling and garbage carts at the existing home if you move.  
  • When you arrive at your new home, call the Customer Care Center at 704-920-5555 to request new carts if they are not already there.  
  • Please do not call for carts prior to your move in date. Carts will not be delivered prior to taking occupancy of the home.

Make a commitment to reduce the amount of waste you produce (purchasing only items you need or will consume, and composting when possible), become an avid recycler (with even more items to recycle!), and reuse items that are still functional (be creative and find new uses, or pass them along to others). It’s an easy commitment that makes a world of difference!