How to recycle in Winston-Salem

Find your collection day and learn what to put in and keep out of your cart.

WStoday_recycling bin

Collection happens rain or shine.

Photo by WStoday

Table of Contents

Tin foil, boxes, wrapping paper, and bows if the holidays have you wondering what you can and can’t recycle, here’s a refresher:

Solution to pollution

Taxes fund the city’s recycling collection. It is a voluntary program but state laws require plastic bottles and aluminum cans to be kept out of landfills, along with other items. The city asks residents to first find ways to reduce waste and reuse items, then recycle what they can.

Recyclables go in blue rollout carts at residences. Items should be loose in the bin with the lid closed. Carts should be rolled to the curb by 6 a.m. on collection day, which can be found by address online. They are emptied on a bi-weekly schedule.

People without access to curbside recycling or who have excess items should take their recyclables to one of three public recycling centers in Forsyth County.


Recycling know-how at your fingertips.

Photo by WStoday

Recycle responsibly

Plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum foil, pie tins, and cans, glass bottles and jars, and paper cartons, cardboard, and writing material can be recycled in Winston-Salem. There are some rules to keep in mind:

  • Empty and rinse plastic, glass, and aluminum bottles and jars
  • Flatten cardboard
  • Plastic bags are not permitted in bins (return them to your grocery store)
  • Caps can remain on plastic bottles but should be removed from glass containers
  • Disposable cups, to-go containers, pizza boxes, plastic wrap, and anything tainted by food should be kept out of recycling
  • Clothing and diapers don’t belong in bins

Remove packing materials from boxes. Local shipping stores can reuse styrofoam, packing peanuts + bubblewrap that is dropped off — as long as it’s clean.

It’s easy being green

The Winston-Salem Collects app takes the guesswork out of recycling and will alert you about service changes. It’s free to download for Apple + Android devices. Still have questions? Call CityLink at 311.