Residential Waste Reduction Fee

Read about the residential waste reduction fee billed on real estate property tax bills. Learn what programs are funded by it and what properties are exempt from this fee.


The North Carolina Solid Waste Management Act of 1989 asked local governments to achieve a waste reduction goal of 40% by June 30, 2001. To attempt to achieve state goals, Wake County implemented additional waste reduction and recycling programs. In the past, costs for these programs were recovered through landfill tipping fees.

Since July 1995, annual residential waste reduction fees have paid for these costs. The fee is subject to change from year to year, based on the budgeted costs for the programs covered by the fee. The current fee is $20 per household and has remained unchanged since 2000.  The landfill-tipping fee will pay for only those activities associated with the design, construction and day-to-day operation of the landfills.

Programs Subject to the Fee

  • County Convenience Center Program for residential solid waste disposal and recyclable collection, construction, and demolition debris disposal
  • Multi-Material Drop-off Facilities (recycle white goods, scrap tires, used motor oil, lead-acid batteries and corrugated cardboard)
  • School Recycling Programs – Education and recycling site that accepts aluminum beverage cans; green, clear and brown container glass; plastic milk/soda containers; white office, school and computer paper
  • Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities
  • Extensive public education programs for all waste reduction and recycling initiatives
  • Research and activities of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee
  • Reserve Fund to recover costs for programs/services in addition to those budgeted


For those residents currently not using these programs, this fee serves as an insurance policy. It ensures that the programs remain available should the resident have need of them in the future. For instance, residents may move and need to dispose of paint, pesticides and other household hazardous waste. This fee covers costs associated with the County's permanent household waste collection facility. In addition, for those currently not using these programs, we encourage them to do so. Their active participation will reduce the County's waste stream, thus conserving valuable landfill space while protecting the health of the environment.

Properties exempt from the fee

  • Single-family, multifamily and manufactured homes are exempt if: (1) the County has not yet issued a certificate of occupancy as of January 1 prior to the fiscal year in which the fee is to be charged; (2) owned by the Public Housing Authority or Agency; or (3) has been deemed uninhabitable as of January 1 prior to the fiscal year in which the fee is to be charged.
  • Child day care centers
  • Child day care homes located in a structure used exclusively for the provision of child day care
  • Dormitories owned by an educational institution
  • Group care homes
  • Group homes
  • Day care facilities for the elderly
  • Family care homes
  • Health and personal care facilities
  • Churches or places of worship (parsonages are not exempt)

Frequently Asked Questions About This Fee

Is this a duplicate fee?
This fee does not duplicate fees municipalities and private waste haulers charge their residents/customers. The programs covered by the County's fee are in addition to the curbside/drop-off programs offered by municipalities and private waste haulers.

What is the benefit of this fee?
Continuation and expansion of waste reduction, recycling and corresponding education programs.

What if I have more questions about this fee?
For additional information about the Residential Waste Reduction Fee, please call the Wake County Solid Waste Department at 919-856-7400

Tax Rates and Fees

View our Tax Rates and Fees page to see what taxes and other fees may be included in your tax bill.