Garbage & Recycling

Important Effective 3/25/20:
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Republic Services has made the following changes to their pickup services effective Monday, March 23 until further notice:

- Bulk item pick-up and yard waste collection are suspended. 
- Limiting pick-up to cart content only. 
- Contaminated or potentially contaminated household waste must be double bagged. 
Also, if you are in quarantine, we are requesting that you do not recycle at all, for the period of  quarantine.

Please adhere to these temporary changes to service and help us keep employees and citizens safe.

* There have been changes to the Items that can be recycled. Effective June 2019, due to market changes, we will no longer collect Plastics, except plastic bottles with necks. Also, we will no longer pick up any rigid plastics, although these rigid plastic items may still be dropped at Mecklenburg County Full Service Centers: 
Hickory Grove Center     Foxhole Center  Contact them thru the Solid Waste Information Line (980-314-3867).

 Important Reminders:
   We cannot accept plastic bags
   Do not bag your recyclables

For Current Recycling Information: view  Acceptable Recyclables  

or visit or Email: [email protected].

* New Recycling can colors:
As of May 15, 2019 recycling cans that are replaced or provided to new residences will be blue with a light blue lid, instead of the current green can. This is a result of Republic Services new company standard. Republic will continue to service the green cans for recycling also.

* New trash can colors:

As of May 26, 2017 trash cans that are replaced or provided to new residences will be blue with a black lid, instead of the current blue. This is a result of Republic Services new company standard. Republic will continue to service the blue cans for trash also.

The Town of Matthews contracts with Republic Services for garbage/recycling service for residents and small businesses and for yard waste & bulk  pick up for residents. If you have any concerns or issues with any of these services, please contact Republic Services directly at 704-393-6900.

The Town of Matthews has a residential roll-out cart program for both garbage and recycling. All single-family households are provided with two carts; one blue garbage cart (new ones are blue with a black lid) and one green recycling cart (new ones are blue with a light blue lid). There is no charge for your first cart. The carts are 96 gallons and should hold a normal family's waste between collections.

A second recycling cart
is available for a one-time charge of $32.40 (effective 8/22/16). To order and pay for an additional recycling cart, contact the Public Works Department at 704-708-1240.

A second trash container is available for a small monthly fee billed to you directly by Republic Services. To order and set up monthly billing for an additional trash container, contact Republic Services at 704-393-6900.

Garbage collection is weekly. To identify your pick up day click here. Recycling collection is every other week on the same day as garbage collection. Yard waste service is for homeowners only and is picked up once a week on your scheduled garbage day.

Containers should be at the curb by 6:30 AM on your scheduled service day and off the curb by the end of the day. The wheels on your cart should face your home and carts should be at least 3 feet from mailboxes, posts and from each other to allow for mechanical collection. Please do not place containers on the sidewalk or in the street.

If your container needs to be replaced due to damage, contact Republic Services at 704-393-6900
. Residents are responsible for cleaning the interior of their containers.


Garbage collection is weekly. Garbage should be bagged and tied before placing inside your roll-out container. No overflow garbage is allowed. No yard waste is allowed in garbage because North Carolina law prohibits yard waste in landfills.

Items Banned by Law in NC Landfills That We Can No Longer Accept and must be taken to a  Mecklenburg County Recycling center

Electronics (tvs, computers, printers, scanners)
Used Motor Oil/Filters
Scrap Tires
Batteries (including car batteries)
Oyster Shells
Wooden Pallets
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Thermostats Containing Mercury
building materials
contractors debris

The following are links to the Foxhole Waste and Recycling Center and the Hickory Grove Waste and Recycling Center. You may contact them thru the Solid Waste Information Line (980-314-3867).

In addition to the county sites, motor oil, oil filters and car batteries can also be taken to Advanced Auto Parts or Pep Boys on Independence Boulevard (or any other location).


Recycling collection is every other week on the same day as garbage collection. The calendar which lists the week for recycling and the Republic Services Holidays is available here. Do not bag recyclables. Overflow recycling should be placed in a clear bag next to the recycling cart. Large cardboard boxes need to be broken down (no larger than 3' by 3'), flattened and placed beside your recycling container.

Acceptable items for curbside Recycling pick up (June 2019):
 Plastic Bottles (with necks only) - like a water bottle, or milk jug
 Milk cartons and Juice Boxes
 Empty Aerosol Cans
 Aluminum & Steel Cans
 Cereal Boxes (Boxboard)
 Cardboard Boxes (no larger than 3' x 3')
 Pizza Boxes (Clean, no food or liners)
 Glass bottles & Jars
 Paper & Junk Mail (including brown bags, high-grade paper)

Non acceptable items for recycling are: Plastic items (besides Plastic Bottles with Necks), plastic bags, shredded paper,  ceramics, pots & pans, household glassware, paper plates, napkins, batteries, light bulbs, wire coat hangers, photos, food, scrap metal, auto parts, plastic wrap,clothing & textiles, Televisions, electrical cords and garden hoses.

In addition, no hazardous waste or commercial medical waste, may be put in the recycling containers. Critically Unacceptable Items include: Propane Tanks, Oxygen Tanks, Tires, Televisions, Scrap Metal & Hoses.

There are some  items that are listed as recyclable but cannot be recycled in your personal bins. For example plastic bags. These can be recycled at your local grocery store. Click the following, on how to recycle plastic wrap and plastic bags

Why not food containers (except pizza boxes)? Foil, grease, paint, plastic or oil on food boxes or paper show up farther down the paper-making process, causing a defect that's an "oily" spot on newly formed paper. These spots don't print or glue properly and cause stains on the paper. This causes the new paper to be rejected and ultimately end up in the garbage. (source: Anoka Co., Minn. Integrated Waste Management Dept.)

Recycling contamination has become a problem. If items are put in the recycling bin that are not recyclable, then the whole load ends up being considered contaminated and non recyclable. Please be very careful what you put in the recycling can. It is better to trash the item than to contaminate a whole load.

* Please Note that Recycling Carts that Include Contaminants, will be tagged and will not be emptied.

For More Information on Recycling,  visit or Email: [email protected].

White Goods/Bulky Items

Special pick up for white goods and bulky items, such as stoves, refrigerators, water heaters, mattresses, carpet (must be rolled and tied) and furniture, can be scheduled by calling 704-393-6900. Bulk garbage will not be picked up by the automated truck, but will be picked up by an additional truck on the same route.

A note about Mattresses: The Mattress Recycling Council estimates that Americans dispose of roughly 15 to 20 million mattresses every year. The average mattress takes up 40 cubic feet, which means that one year’s worth of discarded mattresses will occupy more than 132,000 square miles of landfill space. To cut down on waste and preserve landfill space, mattress owners in the U.S. are encouraged to get rid of their old mattresses using alternative means. Click here for some helpful tips for donating, recycling, reselling and reusing old or used mattresses

Yard Waste

Yard waste includes brush, tree and shrub trimming, leaves and grass trimmings. Leaves and grass clippings must be bagged in clear bags or other bags (including black plastic and authorized Kraft paper yard waste bags) left open so the driver can see the contents. Bags must weigh less than 50 pounds each, with a 20 bag limit per week.

Branches and limbs must be cut and stacked in small piles. Branches must be cut in lengths of four feet or less and can be no larger than five inches in diameter. Stack limbs in small enough piles that an individual is able to pick up with a pitch fork at the curb.  Do not leave bagged yard waste or limbs and branches blocking the sidewalk or in the street.

Each residence shall be limited to a max of 20 bags or an amount that can be picked up in a max of 20 minutes.

Compost Central

The Compost Central facility located at 5631 West Boulevard and the West Meck Recycling Center located at 8440 Byrum Drive are no longer open to the public or open to receive materials.  The new facility, Mecklenburg County Compost Central and Recycling Center located at 140 Valleydale Road is now in full operation. For those delivering materials to the site, please enter the facility on Valleydale Road, follow the signs to the scale house and exit onto Rozzelles Ferry Road.  The phone number for the facility including product purchase and delivery is 980.314.3880


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