Event Recycling & Bin Loan Program

Person Recycling glass bottle into a bin

Are you planning an event and wondering if there is a way to reduce waste? Wake County loans free recycling, composting and trash bins to residents hosting events in Wake County.

The County has 30 portable recycling, composting and trash bins, or "waste stations," available to loan for public or private events of any size, from weddings and neighborhood block parties to park festivals and golf tournaments. The waste stations fold flat for easy transportation and include specially labeled bags and signage to help attendees sort recyclable and compostable materials.

How Does It Work?

  1. Decide how many bins you need. 
  2. Fill out, sign and submit a reservation form.
  3. Pick up bins.
  4. Set up bins before event.
  5. Recycle, compost and dispose of waste materials after event. 
  6. Return bins.

Planning Your Event

How many bins or waste stations do I need?

Waste Station
A 'waste station' includes a compost, recycling, and trash bin

Waste stations should be kept to a minimum to aid servicing:

  • 1–2 waste stations for graduation parties, family reunions or <150 guests
  • 3–4 waste stations for weddings or <300 guests
  • 5–6 waste stations for school/church picnics or <600 guests
  • 7–8 waste stations for park festivals or <1,500 guests

Where can I pick up the bins from?

Up to 10 waste stations are available at three locations. A waste station includes one compost bin, one recycle bin and one trash bin. If you would like to request more than 10 waste stations, you must complete another reservation form for another pick up location.

Wake County Office Building Fayetteville St entrance
Wake County Office Building

1. Wake County Government Office Building

A picture of South Wake Landfill's Field Office Building
South Wake Waste Management Facilities field office

2. South Wake Waste Management Facilities Field Office

North Wake Waste Management Waste Facilities field office
North Wake Waste Management Facilities field office

3. North Wake Waste Management Facilities Field Office

Please note: Equipment must be picked up and returned to the same location; no exceptions. 

How big are the bins?

Frame dimensions assembled 40” x 25” x 18

One waste station includes a recycling bin, a composting bin and a trash bin. Each bin weighs 12 lbs. and is comprised of four parts:

  • Frame (largest item at 8 lbs. and 40” x 25” x 0.75” when folded)
  • Lid 
  • Sign holder
  • Sign

Consider how many bins you are borrowing and plan accordingly when you come to pick up. Bring help if you are borrowing a lot of equipment for a large event. Allow enough time to load equipment into your vehicle. Measure your trunk or back seat if using a compact vehicle. Utility carts are available for loading.

Are bags provided?

Rolls of specially labeled bags are provided for each type of bin:

Recycling Bins

  • Each roll of recycling bags contains five bags.
  • Each recycling bag can hold up to 200 bottles/cans.


Compost Bins

  • Each roll of compostable bags contains eight bags
  • Each compostable bag has been tested to hold 50 lbs. maximum.


Trash Bins

  • Each roll of trash bags contains 10 bags.


NOTE: Staff will determine how many rolls of bags to provide based on estimated attendance and duration of event. Remember to monitor bins regularly to avoid contamination and overflows. Please return any unused bags for future use.

Why do I sign the reservation form?

The borrower/person listed on the reservation form is responsible for the equipment. Therefore, they must be present at pickup, no exceptions. To loan equipment from Wake County, the borrower is required to sign a reservation form, that states they agree to:

  • Return bins clean (wipe down lids and signs, if dirtied during event).
  • Return bins to the location indicated in the confirmation email.
  • Return bins by the date indicated in the confirmation email.
  • Recycle, compost and dispose of all waste materials collected accordingly.
  • Return any unused bags. 
  • Reimburse Wake County $90 per bin if lost or damaged beyond use.

Note: Completing a reservation form does not guarantee approval. Bins are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit your reservation a minimum two weeks prior to pick up. Please allow 48 business hours for a response.

How do I set up a waste station?

It's easy! Watch this video to see how the bins are set up.

How do I alleviate contamination?

Contamination - when the wrong item is placed in the bin, is a common issue. To alleviate the issue we suggest:

  • Remove standalone trashcans from view.
  • Group the recycle, compost, and trash bins together to create a waste station.
  • Introduce the waste stations to your guests at the start of your event.
  • If you are using compostable foodware, tape samples to the compost sign.
  • Assign someone to monitor waste stations for contamination during the event.

What do I do with the waste materials collected?

Small amounts of trash and recyclables can be placed in your curbside carts for collection. Please split recycling bags and empty recyclables loose in the cart. Large amounts of trash, recyclables and compostables can be dropped off for FREE at Wake County convenience centers.


  • Recyclables must be placed loose, not bagged, in the 'mixed recycling' containers at convenience centers.
  • Not all convenience center sites accept compostables, so please check prior to arrival.
  • When using convenience centers in a box truck or dual axle trailer, a FREE Trash Pass is required prior to arrival.

What items can I recycle?

Image of what can be recycled

Beverage containers and packaging are the most common recyclable items generated at events, including items such as:

  • Plastic water, soda and wine bottles
  • Paper wine cartons and juice boxes
  • Metal soda and beer cans
  • Glass wine and beer bottles
  • Paper tickets, agendas and flyers
  • Carboard (clean, dry and flattened)

Please ensure beverage containers are empty and replace any screw caps.

Follow this link to learn more about the items that can go in mixed recycling containers at Wake County convenience centers.

What items can I compost?

Image of what can be composted

The most common compostable items generated at events include:

  • Food scraps
  • Cooked meat and dairy products
  • Paper napkins
  • Pizza boxes
  • Paper food tray/boat
  • Compostable foodware, such as plates, bowls, cups or cutlery labeled:
    • "BPI Certified Compostable" 
    • "ASTM D6400" 
    • "ASTM D6868" 

Follow this link to learn more about the items that can be composted at Wake County convenience centers.

Unacceptable Items:

  • Raw meat
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic foodware and packaging
  • Glass foodware and packaging
  • Metal foodware and packaging
  • Paper cups and paper plates, unless labeled "BPI Certified Compostable" or "ASTM D6400, D6868"

Please do not put plastic, metal, or glass of any kind in a compost bin.

Contact Us

Education and Outreach Team

Email: recycling@wake.gov