Gastonia’s Recycling Cart Roundup Gets Underway

City employee securing recycling carts loaded on a big truck

The City of Gastonia has begun a four-week process to collect all gray 96-gallon recycling carts. Last month, the City Council voted to end curbside collection of recyclables.

Residents are asked to:

  • Put their empty gray recycling cart at the curb starting Oct. 26.
  • Leave the cart at the curb until City crews collects all recycling carts.

Homeowners associations are being asked to allow this one-time variance.

During the roundup, crews will load recycling carts onto City trucks. “The roundup will take an estimated four weeks because collecting all of those carts is labor-intensive,” said DeeDee Gillis, manager of the City’s Solid Waste Division. “Our employees will have to look inside each cart before loading it onto the truck.”

Gillis acknowledged that, without curbside recycling pickup, many residents will put more items into the trash and more households will need an additional cart for garbage. To request an additional garbage cart, Gastonia residents can call 704-866-6774, email or use the WasteWise app. For each additional garbage cart, a household will be charged an extra $7.50 on their monthly utility bill.

The City will repurpose the former recycling carts into garbage carts. The repurposed gray carts will have special markings so that City crews know to empty the contents into garbage trucks. The City will also perform field audits to make sure households that put out more than one garbage cart match with Solid Waste’s records and are billed accordingly.

The Gastonia City Council voted unanimously on Sept. 15 to end curbside recycling because of high contamination rates. Approximately 30% of households participated in the recycling program, and about 60% of the items that Gastonia residents put in their recycling carts were not recyclable.

Gastonia residents are encouraged to continue recycling at drop-off centers. Those centers, such as the Farmers Market on East Long Avenue, accept more types of recyclable items than were accepted in curbside recycling. And they are staffed to make sure the items being dropped off are truly recyclable. The City also plans to open an additional recycling center next year on Duke Street, off Gaston Day School Road.