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Chatham County Waste Management

Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005

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The Chatham County Waste Management Division manages approximately 1/3 of the solid waste generated in Chatham County. The remaining 2/3 is handled under contract by the towns of Pittsboro, Goldston and Siler City and by private haulers who offer commercial and residential services.

Chatham County has not operated a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfill since October 1993. All solid waste that is not recycled is hauled to a privately owned transfer station located behind Wal Mart in Siler City. From there it is currently hauled to a private landfill in Sampson County.

Chatham County has a system of 12 staffed collection centers for the collection of household garbage and recyclables.

The county owns or leases the collection center properties and owns all equipment used in the collection and hauling of household wastes and recyclables.

The County directly employs staff to manage and haul household wastes and recyclables at the centers; however, the attendants are contracted through a private security firm.


Property tax statements for all homeowners in the unincorporated areas of Chatham County include solid waste fees tied to the costs of operating the centers and hauling and disposing the waste collected at the centers.


Tire Program

According to Chatham County Tire Disposal Policy & Procedures, retailers and residents may dispose of scrap tires at no charge at the Waste Management Facility. Citizens can also bring automobile tires to any of the twelve Collection Centers.

Instructions for disposing tires at Collection Centers:

1. Sign in with guard on duty
2. Only tires less than 20" across with no rims are accepted
3. You must fill out and sign a "Nuisance Tire Form" and return to guard
4. No more than four tires in a six-month period are allowed

Retailers and citizens with tires bigger than 20" across must bring tires to the Waste Management Facility.

White Goods (Large Appliances and Scrap Metal)
Retailers and residents may dispose of large appliances and scrap metal at no charge at the Waste Management Facility. Citizens can also bring these items to any of the twelve Collection Centers.

Instructions for disposing large appliances and scrap metal at Collection Centers:

1. Check-in with guard on duty
2. You can dispose refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, air conditioners, swing sets, lawn mowers, tin roofing, electric motors, pots & pans, etc. in designated white goods container - NOT BULKY ITEM BOX
3. You must fill out and sign a "Material Identification Form" and return to guard

NO televisions, microwaves, batteries, barrels, drums, propane tanks, pails or plastic in white goods collection boxes - check with guard on how to dispose of these items.

Compost Bin Sales

As the volume of waste we create continues to increase, composting becomes an increasingly important option in order to decrease a large portion of what we throw away. Twenty percent of what we put in the landfill consists of yard and garden wastes such as leaves and grass clippings. In North Carolina these wastes are banned from landfills. Another 7.4 % of our waste stream is food wastes.

One step you can take to solve this waste disposal problem is to make use of lawn, garden, and kitchen wastes instead of dumping them. Through the natural process of composting, these organic wastes can be recycled to produce a natural material that can be used in gardens, landscapes, and flower beds. When compost is mixed with your soil it actually improves soil by supplying essential nutrients, improving drainage, and enhancing the soil's ability to support plant growth.

There are many ways you can conveniently and economically compost these materials in your own backyard. You will then have your own finished compost to add to your yard or garden. Chatham County Waste Management sells compost bins at the administrative office on County Landfill Road, Monday - Friday from 7:00 - 3:30, and during Household Hazardous Waste collections. The price is $37.00.

To receive literature about the specifics of building a compost pile, or information about compost bin sales and demonstrations send an email message to us

Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program

What is the Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program?
Through grant moneys administered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture from the 1993 Environmental Trust Fund, Chatham County has been able to purchase a used trailer to park at the Chatham County Landfill to store properly cleaned plastic pesticide containers in so that they can be granulated for recycling.

What will it cost to participate in the Recycling Program?
Nothing! The trailer was purchased through the grant money received from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. The only cost to you is your effort in cleaning and bringing the containers to the landfill for storage.

Why should I participate in the Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program?
It is becoming more and more difficult to dispose of pesticide containers. Many of out landfills are filling up fast. Due to instances where containers are not properly cleaned, pesticides remain in containers, that when placed in a landfill, contaminate groundwater. If pesticide containers are found dumped on your property, the property can not be sold until the containers have been cleaned up and any contaminated soil removed. This has tied up many estates in the past.

What happens to the containers once they have been deposited at the landfill?
Once a year a company will come to the landfill and will granulate the stored containers. The company which does the granulation will then sell the granulated plastic to companies which will use the plastic to make new items such as: plastic fence posts, park benches and other items now being made from plastics.

How do I participate?
Follow the guidelines listed below and bring your plastic pesticide containers to the Chatham County Waste Management facilities at the old County landfill during its normal operating hours. Please visit our administrative office to have your containers checked.

Instructions for recycling plastic pesticide containers:

1. Containers must be cleaned.
Free of dirt, visible pesticide residue and labels removed.
2. Containers have been pressure rinsed or triple rinsed.
If containers are triple rinsed, they must have a hole punched in the bottom of each container.
3. Containers have not been crushed.
Containers should not be crushed as they will grind better if still in the original shape.
4. All caps have been removed.
Caps of containers cannot go through the grinder and must be removed before storage.

Motor Oil Recycling Program

Chatham County recycles motor oil and some other automotive and heating fluids as a waste reduction and recycling effort at all twelve collection centers and at the LCID landfill which is centrally located in the county.

The list of accepted fluids includes motor oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, kerosene, gear oil, Coleman fuel and diesel fuel.

Fluids NOT accepted include antifreeze, gasoline, solvents, mixed gas, paint or paint thinner, parts cleaner, and brake fluid.

Service is limited to residential and small farmer usage at the twelve collection centers and there is a volume limit of five (5) gallons. The site at the LCID landfill accepts larger amounts and serves other businesses. Attendants at the collection centers and staff at LCID landfill monitor usage of collection vats. A log is kept with information such as customer address, vehicle license plate number, and the amount being recycled. Customer must sign the log sheet before they can deposit fluids.

No oil drums are accepted at the collection centers. Attendants are trained to assist customers with larger amounts by either directing them to the site at the LCID landfill or by giving them phone numbers for oil collection companies.

Procedures are in place for emergency situations such as spills and leaks at all locations.

Cooking Oil & Grease Recylcing

Ever wonder what to do with used liquid cooking oil? Often people put cooking oil in jars or cans and "sneak" it into their garbage. However, by simple definition, cooking oil is a liquid waste (not a solid waste) and therefore not accepted at the collection centers. Pouring oil and grease down your kitchen drain is also a very bad idea. It not only clogs drains, but damages septic systems and public water disposal systems.

Chatham County Waste Management recognizes the need to safely dispose of cooking oils and grease, and has recently installed a collection vat at the administrative office at 720 County Landfill Road for recycling these liquids.

Electronics (Computer) Recycling

A limited electronics-recycling program was started in Chatham County in 2002. Certain items can be brought to the Waste Management Division (WMD) at 720 County Landfill Road, Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Call 542-5516 for more details.

There is no current landfill ban on household computers or household televisions in North Carolina, making it legal to dispose of them at the collection centers in either a bulky bin or pre-crusher (where available).

Items accepted for recycling at the WMD:

* CPU boxes – no charge
* Cell phones – no charge
* Computer monitors - $8 charge
* Television - $10 charge (no large console types are accepted)

Get more information about electronics recycling in North Carolina at:

School Recycling Program

The Waste Management Division (WMD) collects cardboard, paper, and steel cans from Chatham County schools. Cardboard and steel cans come mostly from the cafeterias, and paper is collected in the classrooms and offices.

Business Cardboard Recycling

North Carolina law bans business cardboard from landfills.

Large-scale businesses generally contract with their private waste hauler for a separate container for recycling corrugated cardboard. Many small businesses do not have the need or space for a separate container and the WMD offers a possible solution. Although we cannot accept business cardboard at the collection centers, the WMD stages recycling containers for business cardboard at two locations: the transfer station behind Wal Mart in Siler City and the Waste Management Facility at 720 County Landfill Road (just west of Pittsboro off Hwy 64).

Grazing Card Program

The county wants to encourage the reuse of items because it keeps those items out of a landfill and saves hauling and disposal costs. However, it is necessary to have some control over residents going through containers to insure the centers remain safe. The Grazing Card system is a program that allows residents with a “Grazing Card” to remove items from bulky boxes and scrap metal boxes.

In order to obtain a card, residents must fill out a release of liability, agree to the Grazing Card guidelines, and pay a $10 administrative fee. There is a minimal renewal fee each two years, and this fee is waived if grazers respond to a short survey.

Adopt-A-Highway Program

To help keep Chatham County clean, residents can join the Chatham County Adopt-A-Highway program. The Adopt-A-Highway program is a cooperative effort between Chatham County volunteers and the NC Department of Transportation. Civic, business, and family groups have volunteered to pick up litter at least four times a year on a section of state maintained roads.

The state provides a Adopt-A-Highway coordinator for Chatham and Randolph county's. This coordinator assists interested groups in selecting two miles of road, provides application forms, and safety training. The Department of Transportation furnishes groups with two signs: one to identify its adopted stretch of road and the other to recognize the group's contributions. In addition, safety vests and bags are provided for trash and recyclables collection.

Chatham currently has 63 Adopt-A-Highway groups comprised of hundreds of volunteers. Many of these groups have reduced our waste disposal problem further through the practice of recycling. The Department of Transportation has made recycling really easy by providing colored bags to separate recyclable items. Currently, 31 of the 63 Chatham County Adopt-A-Highway groups have participated in the recycling program. These groups cover 142 miles of county roads and have collected over 3,040 pounds of recycled glass, 800 pounds of metal, and 73,560 pounds of garbage.

If you are interested in contributing to a cleaner Chatham County, helping the environment, and enhancing our recycling effort, call Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway at 800-331-5864 or contact the Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway coordinator, Sharon Williams (336) 629-1423

Junk Mail

Did you know the average American spends eight full months of their life opening junk mail?

Junk mail not only takes up a lot of our time, it also takes up a lot of space - in our landfills. A study in Greensboro, NC found that between 5.5 and 6.8 percent of their total waste stream was junk mail. According to the U.S. Postal Service, every man, woman, and child in the U.S. receives an average of 248 pieces of third class mail (junk mail) each year.

In Chatham County, junk mail can be recycled with mixed paper. However, recycling does not prevent the waste of the trees and energy that go into making junk mail that usually never gets opened. Not to mention the fact that we all have to pay for this garbage to go to the landfill.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the unwanted Junk Mail you receive:

1. Remove your name from unwanted mailing lists.
Contact each company directly to request your name be removed from their mailing list. You can call their 1-800 number, write them a letter, or use their business reply card or order form to send a message. If possible, include the mailing label.
2. Credit Bureaus
Ask your credit card to not sell, rent, or trade your name. Call 888-567-8688 to require credit-reporting firms to delete your name from their mailing list. One call reaches three major credit bureaus.
3. Department of Motor Vehicles
A provision of the Federal Privacy Protection Act allows for personal information contained in the records of the DMV to be released for surveys, marketing or solicitations if the customer has an opportunity to prohibit such disclosure. Complete a MVR-605B form requesting that the information contained in their records not be released for surveys, marketing or solicitations. To get this form contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Registration Section, 1100 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC, 27697; 919-733-0126; or on the web at
4. Direct Marketing
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) offers the Mail and Telephone Preference Services, which allow you to opt-out of direct mail marketing and/or telemarketing from many national companies. Write these services and ask them to have your name removed from direct mail company's lists. Be sure to give them all variations and spellings of your name. Mail Preference List: P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008Telephone Preference List: P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014

Finally, not all junk mail is bad. In fact, shopping by mail instead of running from one store to another saves gas, your time, and your sanity. The goal with junk mail is to receive only items you want.

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Chatham County Waste Management

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