Solid Waste Program Improvements

Solid Waste Improvements


In 2008, the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted to add four cents to the property tax rate for the purpose of replacing the monthly residential trash and recycling fee. Beginning in July 2008, the Town of Wake Forest began treating residential trash and recycling service the same as fire and police service as part of your annual property tax bill.

The process was intended to simplify the way you pay for residential solid waste service by eliminating your monthly solid waste charge and including it as a public service paid for by tax revenues.

In recent years, local businesses expressed concerns about paying for a service (residential trash and recycling collection service) they did not receive.

After considerable discussion, the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners voted in June 2020 to change how the Town charges for solid waste collection. Beginning January 1, 2021, the service will no longer be covered solely by annual tax revenues, but instead by a $21 monthly solid waste fee included on residents’ Raleigh Water bill. The monthly fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, along with seasonal collections for loose leaves, Christmas trees, bulk waste pickup and large brush collection.

When new residents contact Raleigh Water to establish water and sewer service they will be added automatically to the solid waste collection service for the Town of Wake Forest and receive one 96-gallon trash cart and one 96-gallon recycling cart.

If the home is new construction, please contact Raleigh Water to start billing services and then fill out a cart request form to request carts. If you have any issues, please contact Public Works.


What does the fee cover?

The $21 per month service fee includes weekly trash, recycling and yard waste collection, scheduled bulk and large brush collection, and seasonal collections for loose leaves and Christmas Trees. The average cost for private service, which does not include seasonal collections, bulk or yard waste, is $35 per month.

Need Help Paying Your Utility Bill?

The Project Share Contribution Program provides emergency funds to utility residents in a crisis, who are unable to pay their water, solid waste, recycling, and stormwater bills. It is funded by customer and corporate donations. Of the funds contributed to Project Share, 100% stay in the service area and help customers located in Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon. For more information, email Utility Bill Help or call 919-996-3333. 


Start or Stop Service

Beginning In January 2021, residents will need to request services through Raleigh Water. Call Raleigh Water at 919-996-3245 at least three business days prior to the day you wish to start water, sewer and trash and recycling collection services to set up a new utilities account. 

  • The initial charges for trash, recycling and yard waste will be prorated for the first billing cycle.

  • Moving to an existing home? Carts will already be at the home and service will begin when you start your water service, no need to call the Town. 

  • If you're renting a house and wish to have the account in your name, have the owner's name, phone number and mailing address when you call to set up the account

  • Each household is provided one trash cart and one recycling cart. Residents can request one additional cart of each type for a fee. 

  • To close your account and request a final bill, call Raleigh Water or complete the stop service form


Collection Updates

To ensure consistent and equitable service, as a result of transferring solid waste fees from your tax bill to your water bill, the follow changes to the solid waste program will start January 2021. 

  • Bulk Waste
    • Bulk collections will be scheduled online. Two free collections can occur per household (by owner) each year. Additional requests will result in a fee of $50.

  • Yard Waste
    • Increase weekly reusable containers or biodegradable yard waste paper bag limit from 10 to 20 bags

      • New weekly limit is a combination of carts or bags not to exceed 20
    • Increase large brush limit from four (4) to eight (8) cubic yards- about two (2) pickup truck loads

    • Schedule large brush collections online


Bulk Program Expansion

  • Many residents have been previously turned away from the bulk program because it was limited to 75 pounds or more. The 75 pound limit will be eliminated in January.

  • New items eligible for collection include bed frames, dining room chairs, patio furniture, office chairs, trampolines, head boards, rugs, wood pallets, vacuum cleaners, broken down furniture, fencing, children's toys (slides etc.)


Yard Waste Program Expansion

  • Wake Forest now provides weekly curbside collection of yard waste to all single-family homes, duplexes and most townhomes in the Town. Yard waste collection occurs the day before your regular scheduled trash collection day.

  • Yard Maintenance Services

    Beginning January 2021, if you or your HOA contract with a landscaping company, you are eligible for curbside collection. Residents are responsible for coordinating with your contractor to ensure that any yard waste is placed in, town-provided carts, reusable carts/containers (45 gallon/ 50 lbs. or less) or biodegradable yard waste paper bags for collection. Set out should occur after 5 p.m. on the day prior to your service day. 


Solid Waste GuideOutreach & Education



Solid Waste User Fee FAQs

I only set out my trash cart once a month, can I have a lower fee?

No. The fees are set based on a the same level of service throughout the Town.

I can't afford an additional fee as I'm on a fixed income. What are my options?

For those eligible for Property Tax Relief, you are also eligible for solid waste fee relief. Customers eligible include disabled veterans and those that are 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled. In addition, the total income for 2019 for both an applicant and spouse cannot exceed $31,000. 

For more information, email Public Works Administrative Assistant Katherine Tharrington.

Can I only pay for select services?

For example, is a customer able to only request trash collection and not recycling or yard waste? No. The State of North Carolina bans bottles, cans, and yard waste from landfills. As such, all three services are required for the Town of Wake Forest Solid Waste User Fee.

Why didn't my taxes go down if the fee was moved off of my property tax bill?

Incorporating the Fire Department as a Town entity eliminated any savings but removing the fee resulted in not having to increase taxes.

Is the solid waste fee on my county taxes going to be removed?

No. The Town of Wake Forest solid waste user fee covers trash, recycling and yard waste collection and disposal costs. Franklin County and Wake County list a solid waste availability fee on County tax bills which will remain. The County fee covers services such as utilizing the landfill for personal use, tire disposal, and hazardous waste drop off. The Town fee covers collection. 



What is a typical monthly fee for solid waste?

Services for solid waste range in the private market from $30-$35 a month which don't include yard waste collection. The Town contracts with a private hauler for trash and recycling throughout the town which helps keep rates competitive. Other local governments in the area providing service range from $14/mon- $44/mon and cover a large variety of different services from locality to locality. 

Can I opt out of service?

No. It is a mandatory program. If you only utilize the convenience centers or County landfill, the fee will apply. The fee is an availability fee, and not based on overall usage. 

Why do I have to request a large brush collection if the truck will already be there picking up my bagged yard waste?

Large brush collection requires a different type of truck. The Town's knuckleboom truck is able to pick up limbs in a safer and more efficient manner than the regular yard waste truck. This larger truck can then just go to the homes where it's needed.  Learn more on our yard waste page

I don't own my home, who pays the for the service?

Solid Waste billing will be sent to to account holder on file with the City of Raleigh. If an owner would like the tenant to be responsible for water, sewer and solid waste service, they will need to request a utilities authorization form from the City of Raleigh

I'm a business that did not receive service, what happens to me now?

Businesses were previously paying for service as property taxes cannot be attributed to specific programs. While businesses are not eligible for the residential program, they will no longer be billed. In the unlikely event a businesses receives a bill from City of Raleigh marked "Solid Waste" they are requested to contact Public Works to have the bill corrected. 

Solid Waste Program Improvements