Recycling-CenterRecycling is the process of turning materials that would otherwise be thrown away into new products. Some of the many benefits of recycling include saving natural resources, preventing air and water pollution, saving energy, saving landfill space, keeping habitats intact, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs.


Recycling began in 1975 at NC State, visit the timeline for a complete history.

NC State’s current program services over 325 dumpsters, 1,350 outdoor recycling cars and 35 construction rolloffs. WRR works throughout the entire year to dispose of, recycle and divert 25 different streams of material generated by campus.

Recycling Site

All of the mixed recycling generated on campus is transported by WRR staff to the Sonoco Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Raleigh. Approximately 22-24 staff members work during each shift where they hand sort materials moving on a large conveyor belt. They also utilize optical sorters, eddy currents and a glass breaker. Once the items are sorted they use a baler to compact and bale items such as newspaper, paper, aluminum, steel, glass, plastic, etc. The materials baled at the facility are then sold to domestic and international manufactures that produce recycled products. Any residual waste that is not recyclable is then sent to the landfill. Residual waste at the Raleigh MRF accounts for less than 10% of all the items sent to the facility.

The number one contaminant at recycling centers is plastic bags, while plastic bags are recyclable they are not yet accepted in mixed recycling. Plastic bags can cause damage to the equipment at recycling centers and cause the line to be shut down for hours. Be sure to recycle your clean and dry plastic bags separately at select C-Stores on campus or local grocery stores.


Interested in learning more? Check out these sites:

Recycling Impact

The following graph includes some of the most common recycling streams on campus. Please note, electronics also includes toner/printer cartridges and batteries.