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When setting up a recycling program, whether for a small or large business, a school or a local government program, it is important to have baseline information before trying to find a collection company. You need to assess the materials that are being produced and discover what waste products are economical and feasible to recycle. You may want to review this information on how to choose a recycling market for your materials. We also provide below a list of questions to ask collection companies to find the best service for your program.

For a list of collection companies in your area, visit the Recycling Markets Directory. For more detailed information on setting up a recycling program, particularly for local governments, visit the local government assistance page for local government fact sheets, best management practices, and a variety of other services DPPEA provides.

Contract Examples
Many variables exist in setting up a recycling program; considering the materials you want collected, the markets for those materials, and the procedure for collection can yield unlimited possibilities. The contracts below provide examples for recycling, cardboard and trash service. They can serve as templates to help you when you are setting up service for programs within your organization.

Raleigh Area State Agencies - RFP for Office Recycling Collection Services

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Food Waste

University of North Carolina - Greensboro (commingled, trash, cardboard)

Questions to Ask Collection Companies

  • What type of office paper, corrugated cardboard or other paper do you collect?
  • Do you collect containers? (aluminum, glass, and plastic)
  • How do you collect materials?
    • Single stream - all recyclables mixed together
    • Dual stream - one bin for fiber and one for containers
    • Source separated - all recyclables collected separately
  • What other recyclables will you pick up? (electronics, fluorescent light bulbs, tires, oil)
  • What kind of containers do you provide for collection?
    • Dumpsters (4, 6, or 8 yard), or roll carts
    • Do you provide containers for indoors? (bins or roll carts)
  • What is the minimum amount required for a pickup?
  • Do you provide "scheduled" and "on-call" pickups?
  • What pricing structure will be used, and what is the frequency of payment?
    • Can I get paid for any recyclables? (particularly white office paper, cardboard, and aluminum) Or do you offer free collection of those materials?
  • What is the allowable level of contamination?
  • Will you pick up from within our offices or only from the outdoor collection site?
  • How long is the contract period and what are the terms?
  • Will you provide monthly tonnage reports on the amount of recyclables collected for each material? Note: Ask for report by weight (pounds or tons), not volume.
  • What services can you provide in helping us set up a program?
N.C. Project Green is managed by DENR's
Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach