Just in time for spring cleaning, the City of Gastonia will haul away many types of large or bulky household trash for one week without fees. The popular Free Excess Household Trash Week is March 16-20 on customers’ regular trash collection day.
“‘Popular’ might be an understatement,” said Solid Waste Division Director DeeDee Gillis. “We get more calls and questions about our Free Excess Trash Weeks than any other service we offer.” During the most recent free week, held last September, the City set a record with 466 tons of unwanted items removed from Gastonia curbsides. That tonnage from one week is equal to 186 adult elephants, 776 grand pianos, or 14 full-sized Sherman tanks.
Not everything is hauled away for free. Even during the free week, the City will charge a fee for removing these items:
- Vehicle tires and rims
- Appliances such as TVs, computers, washers, dryers, refrigerators and water heaters. Rule of thumb: If it has an electrical cord, the City charges a $25 fee per appliance.
Residents can discard some types of smaller electronic devices at no charge at the upcoming Shred Day and electronics recycling event. Shred Day will be held Saturday, March 7 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Gastonia Farmers Market. Goodwill Industries will be at the Shred Day event to collect unwanted computers, monitors, printers, tablets, home audio equipment, mobile phones and flat-screen TVs.
During the City’s Free Excess Trash Weeks, Gillis said the most popular items left at the curb are discarded furniture and mattresses. And Solid Waste crews always see a few unusual items left for the landfill such as pianos, grills, lawnmowers and outdoor playsets.
Year-round, City Solid Waste crews do not collect or dispose of:
- Automobile or engine parts, including batteries
- Dirt, rocks, bricks, ceramic tile
- Liquids, poisons or explosives
- Paint cans that contain wet paint
Residents must take those items to the Gaston County Landfill for proper disposal.
The City will collect paint cans that have kitty litter or sand inside to dry up the paint. Residents who want to know if particular item will be collected at no charge during the free week should call the City’s Solid Waste customer service office at 704-866-6774.
Customers should put eligible household trash at the curb the evening before their regular pickup day. Gillis said a fee may be charged if large items are placed at the curb too early. There will be no yard waste collection the week of March 16.
The City offers Free Household Trash Week twice each year, typically near the first day of spring and first day of autumn. While free to customers, there is a price tag. Last September’s free week cost the City an extra $18,000 in employee overtime and extra landfill fees.