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 22-26 on customers’ regular trash collection day.
“We are already starting to gear up for this popular service that we offer to our residents,” said Solid Waste Division Director DeeDee Gillis. “We have been answering calls weeks in advance of the date.” During the most recent free week, held last September, the City set a record with 560 tons of unwanted items removed from Gastonia curbsides. That tonnage from one week is about 95 times as heavy as an adult elephant, 350 times as heavy as a car, or 800 times as heavy as a cow.
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, April 24 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 22.
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 $28,700 in employee overtime and extra landfill fees.