Wake County Recycling Facility offers a behind-the-scenes look at recycling process to residents

March 11 and April 22 offerings with limited capacity

Have you ever wondered what happens to your soda cans, milk jugs, cardboard and other recyclables after you toss them into the recycling bin or drop them off at a convenience center? On March 11 and April 22, Wake County residents can find out, if they sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sonoco Recycling Facility in east Raleigh.

One of the goals of hosting these tours is to encourage the community to recycle the right kinds of plastic, paper, metal and glass.

“Properly sorting recyclables starts at home, and visiting our recycling facilities can be an eye-opening experience,” said Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria. “Seeing firsthand how materials are sorted at our facilities and what the staff does offers a new level of insight that we hope will encourage more people to recycle the right way.”

Improper recycling, also known as contamination, is a growing issue in Wake County. When the contamination rate is greater than 10%, the county is required to pay a fee to its recycling processor. The current contamination rate in Wake County is 13.8%. Additionally, contaminated materials can be hazardous for recycling facility staff.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on March 11, an all-ages presentation will be held in the Sonoco education room. The presentation will cover the steps in the sorting process and be followed by a conversation about which items are recyclable and which are not. Seating is limited.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on April 22, a Sonoco floor tour will be offered for residents ages 18 and older. Visitors will be guided around the facility’s sorting floor for an up-close view of the process before heading to the education room for a Q&A session. All visitors must be able to climb stairs and walk through tight spaces.

All participants will receive a reusable tote bag. Those interested must register in advance by contacting Chelsea Arey at chelsea.arey@wake.gov. Residents can also learn more about proper recycling by visiting wake.gov/recycling101.

Press Release