What you will find on this page

Is recycling still important?

Yes. Recycling, which is getting the most from our natural resources, will always be relevant. We need to keep natural resources in circulation as long as possible.

You may have seen headlines that recycling is broken and that China is no longer buying our recycled materials etc. True and True. We are in this situation because we lack adequate sustainable materials management policy, environmental costs get passed on to the public, and the oil industry is being subsidized.

In the meantime, the importance of recycling has not faded. It is key to maximizing the value of resources, managing waste, and mitigating climate change.


What you can do in Lake Hogan Farms

Orange County is the provider of recycling services for Lake Hogan Farms. For questions beyond information provided here or available via the links to the county’s website, please email

At home

Each Friday, Orange County runs the weekly curbside recycling pick-up in Lake Hogan Farms. Pick-up is mostly automated (e.g. an arm from the truck grabs the cart and empties it into the truck). Make sure you set your cart out correctly.

Orange County provides the blue cart. The cost to replace it is $60.

The list of materials you can recycle in the blue cart is extensive.

Orange County Published Recycling Guidelines
Orange Country recycling guidelines

We can recycle food and beverage containers, household jugs, tubs and bottles, and various types of paper and cardboard products. Some items you will need to take to one of the county’s recycling centers. The center on Eubanks Road is closest to Lake Hogan Farms. It is easy for recyclable materials you can’t put in the blue cart.

Here are some quick reminders:

  • Don’t bag any recycled materials
  • Put caps on bottles when recycling them
  • Remove / rinse out all food scraps (light rinse is fine)

How to navigate plastics

Recycling plastic can be confusing. Focus on which container type to put in the bin.

Orange county only accepts the following plastic:  bottles, jars, jugs and tubs. These usually contain food and beverage products and household items like shampoo, detergent and cleaning solutions. We can also recycle clear take out containers  and produce clamshells only if they are marked #1 PET(E). This is because our local recycling facility accepts these, and they can be captured along with soda and water bottles, made from the same type of plastic. Keep the caps on, but remove pump sprayers.

Orange County maintains a very helpful summary of what can go in the blue cart and plastics that can be recycled at the center on Eubanks Road.

Recycling mindset

The story of recycling does not start and stop with cans, bottles, and cereal boxes. 

Other recyclers

Orange County has an extensive directory of other recycling resources — materials and locations. Here are a few examples. Check the directory for more details.

  • Take styrofoam peanuts, bubble-wrap and air pillows to UPS.
  • Recycle electronics at the Eubanks Road Recycling Center, Best Buy and Staples.
  • LensCrafters and Lions Clubs will take gently used eyeglasses.

The directory has many more, or Google whatever you may want to recycle. Always verify that recycling policies are current and have not been paused.

Second life

The perhaps best way to recycle is to give items a second life. There is an important and growing marketplace of donated and resold goods you can participate in locally.

Buying recycled

Recycling is also about buying products which were made from recycled materials. Recycling only works if we actually reuse the materials that we recycle, right? Here are some ways to get you started.


One of the biggest hurdles to recycling success is contamination. This happens when materials are recycled that cannot be recycled or when materials that can be recycled are “prepared” the wrong way, like aluminum cans placed in a plastic bag or food left in glass jars. Fixing contamination after something has been recycled is expensive. You can help by being attentive to what you are recycling and how. Keeping contamination to a minimum will benefit everyone.

Carbon footprint

Keep in mind that activities by you and Orange County to collect and process recyclables have a carbon footprint.

When your blue recycling cart is less than half full, consider NOT putting the cart out for pick-up. Skipping a week means the truck has to stop one less time, reduces its emissions, and reduces diesel gasoline consumption.

A similar thing is true for car trips to a recycling center. Make it worth it or connect it with other stops. The carbon footprint of dropping off recyclables should not outweigh the benefits of recycling those items.

Cool videos

Single Stream Recycling — Tour a Material Recovery Facility (by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions)
Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services launches new pilot program for recycling (by WCNC)

Comment or suggestion?

We hope this is helpful and welcome information. If you have a comment or suggestion, just drop us a note using our contact form. Make sure you include your contact information. We will get back to you as quickly as we can. Keep in mind that we are a small group of volunteers supporting this resource.

Topic contributors

Tilly Pick, Nina Butler, Tonya Randell