Paper Bag Mandate

Paper Bag LimitsStarting Monday, March 14, 2022, the Town of Wake Forest will no longer collect any plastic bags for disposal of yard waste, including compostable plastic yard waste bags. Instead, residents must use paper yard waste bags or reusable containers weighing no more than 50 pounds for their yard waste.

The Best Choice for the Environment

The Town is making changes to improve service and protect the health of the community!

We're protecting the environment and improving the operational efficiency of the yard waste collection program by eliminating the use of plastic bags for yard waste disposal.

Beginning March 14, Wake Forest residents that receive yard waste collection service will be required to use paper yard waste bags or reusable containers weighing no more than 50 pounds for yard waste collection.


Why is the Town of Wake Forest making this change?

Single-use plastic, such as plastic yard waste bags, create numerous environmental problems. Single-use plastic creates more than 8 million tons of waste in the ocean every year and emits toxic and poisonous gases into the atmosphere, damaging our ecosystem and causing both climate change and health issues.

Conversely, paper bags are extracted from unbleached, recycled brown kraft paper, which saves natural resources and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to environmental concerns, plastic yard waste bags create operational issues, including delaying the collection of materials on scheduled days of collection. Eliminating single-use, plastic yard waste bags will effectively improve efficiency by reducing the amount of time required to provide service at each home. 

Also, the yard waste disposal facility does not accept yard waste in plastic bags. This requires our crews to debag leaves at the curb, which increases collection times and increases the amount of time required to complete routes on the scheduled day of collection.

What can I expect before March 14?

The Town of Wake Forest will be sending information to homes regarding the change. Residents can expect this communication to come in various formats, including a direct mail piece.

Residents can watch WFTV 10 and follow the Town of Wake Forest on social media for continuous updates.

What do I need to do starting March 14?

When setting out yard waste for collection, use paper yard waste bags or reusable containers weighing no more than 50 pounds. Starting March 14, Public Works will no longer accept yard waste in plastic bags.

What happens if I put plastic yard waste bags out after March 14?

If residents continue to use plastic bags, their yard waste will not be collected.

Where can I get paper yard bags and reusable containers?

Paper yard bags and reusable containers can be purchased at local discount, hardware and home improvement stores.

Compostable plastic bags are not accepted as they are not accepted by the yard waste disposal site because they compromise the integrity of the compost product.

What items are accepted for yard waste collection?

Residents can place grass and grass clippings, leaves, flowers, small pruning, limbs and twigs in paper bags. Yard waste does not include dirt, mulch, and rocks.

Residents are advised to place properly prepared yard waste at the curb on their collection day in paper yard waste bags or reusable plastic containers that weigh no more than 50 pounds. 

Residents are allowed to have up to 30 paper bags and/or reusable containers each week. Yard waste will not be collected in tarps.

How do I stay informed about what's happening in Wake Forest?

To stay up to date with the latest information, join our email mailing list, follow us on social media, download our app, and/or sign up for phone and text alerts.

Public Works

Public Works Operations Center
234 Friendship Chapel Road
Wake Forest, NC 27587