Recycling Information

Disclaimer: Keep Charleston Beautiful, nor the City of Charleston, are the organization responsible for residential recycling. For more information about residential recycling and convenience centers, please visit Charleston County Environmental Management.

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America Recycles Day (November 15th)

America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful initiative, takes place each year on November 15th and is a day dedicated to promoting recycling in the United States. There are thousands of events hosted each year that educate friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the benefits of recycling.  You can take a pledge to recycle or find a recycling event near you at the America Recycles Day website.  

For more information about Keep Charleston Beautiful's America Recycles Day Event, please visit our Facebook Event Page

Information for "Difficult-To-Recycle Items"

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

Although beneficial, CFL's do contain a small amount of mercury, which is hazardous to humans and the environment. Disposing of CFL's correctly is crucial. Charleston County recycles CFL light bulbs, and residents can bring their old CFL light bulbs to staffed convenience centers. Residents can also recycle CFL's at participating Lowe's, The Home Depot, and Batteries Plus Bulbs locations.

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at major retailers (e.g, Lowe's, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Batteries Plus Bulb) that participate in the Call2Recycle Program. The program, free to residents, accepts all dry cell rechargeable batteries weighing up to 11 pounds including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Nickle Zinc (Ni-ZN) and Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries as well as small lead-acid batteries.

Household Batteries

These can be recycles at a staffed convenience center. These are also collected by Keep Charleston Beautiful for recycling. Please contact us via email if you would like to schedule a drop off.

Liquid HHW (Cleaners, Solvents, Polishes, Repellants, Etc.)

Liquid Household Hazardous Waste can include weed killers, insecticides, fungicides, slug bait, rose dust, mothballs, flea powder, insect and tick repellents, rodent baits, wood preservatives, lawn fertilizer, pesticide combination products, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, glass cleaners, bleach, ammonia, drain openers, oven cleaners, rug and upholstery cleaners, and silver, copper and chrome polishes. These all need to be taken to staffed convenience centers for recycling. 

Wine Corks

ReCORK is a company that accepts natural cork for recycling. These are turned into things like shoe soles and surfboards. Due to COVID, their collection is currently closed, but you can contact Keep Charleston Beautiful for drop-off in the meantime.

Razors and Razor Packaging

Contact Keep Charleston Beautiful for recycling through a Terracycle Collection Program.

Cigarette Butts and Tobacco Packaging 

Contact Keep Charleston Beautiful for recycling through a Terracycle Collection Program.

Shredded Paper 

Shredded Paper presents a problem for recycling facilities. The small size of the pieces makes it nearly impossible to sort at a facility, and therefore it is not accepted by the Charleston County Recycling Center. Please leave this item out of your blue recycling rolling carts, and try composting this item instead. You can also repurpose shredded paper for your packaging or gifting needs. Also keep an eye out for single-day shred events, in which the shredded product is taken for recycling. Charleston County Environmental Management has often hosted shred events in correlation with Earth Day. 

Paint

Water-base (latex) or oil-base paint, paint thinner, rust remover, turpentine and furniture stripper can be recycled at any of Charleston County's staffed convenience centers.

Automotive Fluids (Antifreeze, gasoline, used motor oil [filters and bottles])

Take to a staffed convenience center for recycling. Do not place these items in your blue recycling rolling cart.  Old gasoline is accepted at the Bees Ferry Convenience Center ONLY. No mixed gas/oil will be accepted.  Participating retailers such as Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone, NAPA Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Walmart and Jiffy Lube may also accept used motor oil from DIYers at no charge. Ask your car dealer or mechanic to see if they will accept your antifreeze/oil for proper disposal or recycling.

Car Batteries

Lead-acid batteries must be recycled in South Carolina. Every county accepts lead-acid batteries, so please make sure to take these to a staffed convenience center for recycling. In addition, most auto parts retailers accept batteries. You also can recycle your old lead-acid battery at the retail location where you bought your new one. There is a $7 advance recycling fee on each new battery purchased. If you return your old battery when buying a new battery, you will receive a $5 credit and be charged only $2.

Scrap Metal & Large Appliances

Large appliances must be recycled in South Carolina. The City of Charleston accepts these through curbside collection and Charleston County accepts these at recycling drop-off centers. Additionally, when buying a new appliance, ask if the retailer will accept the old appliance for recycling. You can also take these to Charleston Steel and Metal for recycling. 

General Electronics

Residents are required by law to recycle computers, computer monitors, printers and televisions. These can be brought to staffed convenience centers.  Make sure to delete personal information prior to recycling. Many retailers and most manufacturers offer collection or take-back programs, like Best Buy. Here is a list of the programs - all of which vary on how they work and what they accept.

Cell Phones

Lowe's, Target, and Best Buy locations may offer recycling centers at the store entrances.

Ink Cartridges

Target stores have a recycling kiosk available for customers to recycle ink cartridges. Check out Target.com about the recycling services available in your area. Cartridge World locations will also accept ink cartridges for recycling or refill. 

Plastic Bags/Film

Lowe's, Home Depot, and grocery store chains may offer recycling centers at the store entrances.

Tires

Tires must be recycled in South Carolina. All counties accept unwanted tires from residents - often limited to a minimal number.  Tires can be brought to Charleston County staffed convenience centers. Before buying tires, ask if the retailer will accept the old tires for recycling.