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Gastonia's last Free Excess Trash Week set for the fall

The week of Sept. 19 is a chance for residents to set up their bulk trash at the curb.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Residents in the city of Gastonia have a chance soon to get rid of bulk trash and unwanted items, and they won't need to go any further than their curbs.

The week of Sept. 19 will be another Free Excess Trash Week for city residents, allowing them to place most pieces of bulk trash outside. This is the second and last such week for Gastonia residents this year; the last week ran in March 2022 and has happened twice per year since 2013.

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“We know that some of our customers really need this service and we’re glad we could offer it again this year,” said Solid Waste Division Manager Allison Brockman in a statement. “Our customers are always thankful for the service and we are pleased to lead the charge to keep our environment clean.”

Bulky items like furniture, mattresses, lawnmowers and other types of trash that can't fit in the city's garbage carts are all collected during Free Excess Trash Week. The city waives its fees for bulk trash collection; typically, residents pay $15 for items weighing up to 100 pounds or $25 for items weighing more than that. 

Since the program launched in 2013, the city government estimates nearly 10 million pounds of unwanted garbage has been collected at no charge to citizens. In March 2022, Gastonia residents set a record by discarding more than 770 tons of trash, all of which went to the Gaston County Landfill in Dallas.

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While most excess trash will be collected for no additional fee, there are still some items that will incur a charge: appliances (like refrigerators and laundry machines), electronics (like TVs and lamps), and car and truck tires. Those will cost $25 for each item because North Carolina state law doesn't allow the city government to put those items into landfills.

There are, however, some items that can't be picked up and instead need to be taken to the landfill to be properly disposed of:

  • Car or engine parts (including batteries)
  • Dirt, rocks, bricks, ceramic tile, or similar construction debris
  • Liquids, poisons, or explosives
  • Paint cans with wet paint inside

To note, the city said paint cans are collected year-round and at no charge as long as cat litter or sand is added to dry the paint out. The paint can also needs to fit inside the rollout garbage cart.

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Residents should place their trash at the curb on the evening before their regular pickup day. A fee could be charged if large items are put outside too early. Additionally, yard waste won't be collected the week of Sept. 19 so more city employees can work on collecting the extra trash.

To check if any trash you plan on setting out will be picked up at no extra charge that week, call the Solid Waste customer service office at 704-866-6774.

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