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Gwinnett County invites you to celebrate Earth Day

Please join the Solid Waste Division on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves as we celebrate Mother Earth by hosting a free recycling event. This event will feature electronics recycling ($10 cash fee per TV), tire recycling (limit eight tires per vehicle; no dealer tires), and paint collection (limit five one-gallon cans per vehicle; no paint thinners, stains, spackle, oil paint cans, rusted paint cans, or dried-up paint). Please bring your gently used or old sneakers to be donated to those in need or recycled into surfaces for local playgrounds and running tracks. Residents can enjoy free kids’ activities and touch-a-truck, and will have the opportunity to meet their haulers.

Paper shredding will not be provided at this event, however Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful provides free paper shredding Monday Through Friday. For more information, please visit

If you would like to volunteer, please visit to sign up for this event.

Solid Waste earns international award
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) awarded Gwinnett County’s Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division the Silver Excellence Award in Communication. The award recognizes excellence in the creation and implementation of individual communication tools that inform target audiences about new or existing solid waste management programs, projects, or organizations.

SWANA presents Gold, Silver, or Bronze awards in 14 categories. The award will be presented at SWANA’s annual national conference in Washington, DC, in August.

The Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division earned the award for the success of its communication plan. The award highlighted the successful implementation of the County’s new solid waste and recycling program and the use of a variety of communications tools to educate residents who were affected by the program.

Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Director Tom Keith said, “We are honored to receive this award from SWANA and hope that our experiences will be helpful to others as they deal with the implementation of complex community-wide programs.”

SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management through their commitment to using effective technologies and processes in system design and operations, advancing worker and community health and safety, and implementing successful public education and outreach programs. Programs also must demonstrate that they are fiscally and environmentally responsible through their compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. 

Gwinnett Updates Solid Waste Plan
The Board of Commissioners adopted updates to the solid waste ordinance during the June 5 board meeting. The revised ordinance and associated rate resolution go into effect on January 1, 2013. Beginning in January, approximately 15,000 seniors will receive a 15 percent discount on their solid waste and recovered materials service, and property owners with valid vacant structure or boarding up permits will be exempt from paying solid waste collection fees.

The senior discount applies to seniors 65 or older with an annual income below $10,000 who have filed a senior homestead exemption called an L3A as well as those with incomes up to $25,000 who qualify for the senior school exemption, or L5A. Disabled people with an L5A exemption will also receive the 15 percent discount on annual solid waste service fees. The solid waste service fee discount will be applied automatically to solid waste fees for qualifying residents and will be reflected on 2013 property tax bills.

In order to qualify for the vacant structure or boarding up solid waste fee exemption, the owner of a vacant structure or boarded up structure must register with the Department of Planning and Development and meet the requirements of either a vacant structure permit or a boarding up permit. To learn more about the requirements of these permits, please contact the Department of Planning and Development at 678.518.6000. Beginning January 1, 2013, those property owners with valid vacant structure or boarding up permits will automatically receive the solid waste service fee exemption during the time in which the permit is valid.

Other updates to the ordinance change the appeals process associated with residential hauler performance and allow quarterly billing for residential parcels such as mobile home parks with service fees that exceed $25,000 for a single parcel annually. In addition, beginning January 1, 2013, commercial and construction or demolition waste haulers that serve Gwinnett businesses will be required to offer recycling. The new requirement to offer recycling applies to all authorized haulers who collectively serve more than 6,500 commercial and construction or demolition accounts in unincorporated Gwinnett County. The flat regulatory fee for commercial and construction or demolition waste service providers will reset next year to 3 percent of gross revenues, an industry standard.

Important Information for Builders of Residential Property
Effective January 1, 2013, Gwinnett County requires that a Residential Service Fee be paid to the County for collection, transportation, and disposal or processing of residential municipal solid waste, residential recovered materials, bulky waste, and/or white goods. Your Certificate of Occupancy (CO) will be issued after the Residential Service Fee has been paid. See instructions outlined below.

  • When the permit is issued, your CO will be placed in a hold status until the Residential Service Fee has been paid.
  • The amount of the fee will be calculated based on the issuance date in accordance with the rate established by the County. For 2013, the rate is $18.65 per month.
  • When you are ready to obtain your CO, please visit the Solid Waste Office at 446 West Crogan Street, Suite 100 in Lawrenceville to pay by check, cash, or credit card. You may also call our office at 770.822.7141 to pay by credit card.
  • Once paid, the Solid Waste Office will lift the hold on issuance of the CO.

About the Solid Waste & Recovered Materials Division
Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division's base services include collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling.  The waste management services provided by the waste haulers are specified in the County Ordinance and written agreements with the County.

Recycle books at Gwinnett County Public Libraries
Now you can recycle books at your Gwinnett County Public Library! Collection bins are located at each of the 15 locations and books collected at the bins will be sold, donated, or recycled. A portion of the sales will benefit the library. For branch locations, visit or call 770.978.5154

Recycle your old toilets for free!
Gwinnett County residents have a free option for recycling old toilets.

As part of their Toilet Rebate Program, the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources is offering toilet recycling to homeowners and renters. Bring your old and broken porcelain toilets to the Department of Water Resources Central Facility located at 684 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville for recycling. You must remove the toilet seat and any plastic parts, including handles.

The facility will accept toilets for recycling at any time. After business hours and on weekends, access is only available from the Hosea Road entrance.

For more information on the Toilet Rebate Program, please visit or call the Department of Water Resources customer service line at 678.376.6800.

Are you seeing trucks in multiples?
On collection day, you may be seeing multiple trucks in your neighborhood. The haulers in Gwinnett have dedicated trucks for the many services they provide: recycling and trash as well as for special requests for yard waste, bulky items pickup, and backdoor service. In order to ensure proper disposal and reduce contamination of the environment, household trash and yard waste are emptied at designated landfills. Recyclables are collected separately and delivered to the recycling center where they are processed for reuse. Individual trucks are used for each of these services to ensure proper separation and disposal of materials thus making Gwinnett a greener community to live, work, and play. So don’t worry when you see multiple trucks in your neighborhood on collection day – your vision is just fine!

What is backdoor service?
Backdoor service is a convenience provided to households of elderly or disabled persons who are physically unable to deliver their carts to the curb. For those that qualify, their trash and recycling will be retrieved at the door of their home. You may contact your hauler for further information if you or someone you know would benefit from backdoor service.

Trash Talk: Recycling Rundown
Are you looking for more information about what is recyclable at the curb? If so, check out this new video. It takes an in-depth look at the different materials that are recyclable in Gwinnett.

To see a list of these items, click here.

Want more information on recycling?
If you are looking for more information on the guidelines of the new recycling plan in Gwinnett, check out this short video! It provides details about cart set-out guidelines and is a how-to on recycling.

Recycling your old trash cart
If you are still hanging on to your 95-gallon trash cart from your previous hauler, you can put it to use!  Hopefully, you have found that you are able to recycle so many additional items that it can be hard to fit everything into the recycling bin provided by your hauler, that's no problem and no extra charge. You can use additional bins, including your old 95-gallon trash cart, for recycling. Just make sure your bins are clearly marked "recyclables." Please note that your hauler can charge you for trash that exceeds your 95-gallon trash bin, but feel free to recycle as much as possible!

Oversized recyclables
If you have recyclables that are too large to fit in your recycling bins such as collapsed boxes, etc., just make sure they are clearly marked "recycling" as well. If they are not, haulers will assume they’re trash and will not be able to take them without a bulky items pickup request.