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Posted on: March 29, 2023

New materials now able to be recycled in New Hanover County, City of Wilmington

Recycling social postNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – A new partnership between New Hanover County Recycling and Solid Waste and the Foodservice Packaging Institute will enable county residents to recycle single use paper products often associated with packaging used in the foodservice industry.

Included among the materials that will now be accepted for recycling are paper-based items like to-go cups used at restaurants and coffee shops, along with cartons used to hold liquids like juice, milk or stocks and broths.

“The amount of usable space in our landfill is becoming smaller each day and we know that recycling is a way to help address this issue,” said Recycling and Solid Waste Director Joe Suleyman. “This new partnership is very exciting as it will help keep everyday containers so many of us use out of the garbage and our landfill, while also giving them a second life as a reusable product.”

In addition to these types of paper products, No. 5 plastic containers are also now recyclable in New Hanover County. No. 5 plastic containers are commonly associated with bottles used for hygiene products like shampoo, lotion and soap, as well as takeout food containers and tubs used to hold things like yogurt or sour cream. These plastics can be identified by the number 5 inside the recycling triangle logo on their surface. Also, spiral-wound containers, like the tubes used to hold stacked potato chips or unbaked dough, can also be recycled.

To help reduce contamination, individuals who are recycling these new or any previously accepted materials are encouraged to make sure they are empty and lightly rinsed to remove leftover residue.

Last year, the team at New Hanover County’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) sorted and packaged more than 42,000 tons of recyclable materials which was shipped off for processing to be reused at facilities around the region.

New Hanover County has seven recycling drop-off locations that can be used by all residents. In addition, residents in the Wilmington city limits can recycle through the city’s curbside recycling program. Kure Beach and Carolina Beach also offer curbside recycling residents, and there are private recycling services that residents can contract with directly.

To learn more about recycling in New Hanover County, visit

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