Charleston Hard-to-Recycle Pilot Program

Many common household items are not accepted in local recycling programs. Using our Zero Waste Bags, you can now recycle 24 categories of hard-to-recycle materials right from your doorstep.
How does the pilot program work?
Purchase Zero Waste Bags from our online store. We will deliver your bags on your next collection day.
Fill up your bags with your selected waste stream. When they are ready for collection, seal them, and place them beside your CompostNow bin on your collection day.
We’ll collect your bags and send them to our recycling partner, TerraCycle, where items are sorted and processed into secondary raw materials to be used to make new products.
From there, you can continue recycling your hard-to-recycle items as needed by purchasing Zero Waste Bags from our online store.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to these materials after you collect them?

We’ve partnered with TerraCycle to recycle the materials in your Zero Waste Bag. They guarantee that all compliant materials that are collected are recycled. The items are received by their material recovery partners where they are sorted into individual material components. Each material is then recycled into a raw format that can be used to make new products

TerraCycle is committed to verification and transparency, maintaining records and regularly auditing their supply chain to ensure that they can stand behind their recycling guarantee. They strictly control the movement of materials through each part of the recycling process so they can track and confirm where materials were sent and for what purpose. Bureau Veritas —a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification services— annually audits their collection and recycling supply chains, as do many of their partners. Explore how each material is processed

What are the accepted waste streams?

Small Zero Waste Bag 
• Coffee capsules 
• Cosmetics 
• Water filters 
• PPE (masks and gloves) 
• Oral care packaging 
• Eyewear 
• Media storage 
• Wires and cords 
• Ink and toner cartridges 
• Cigarette butts
• Corks
• Plastic bottle caps

Large Zero Waste Bag
• All plastic packaging 
• Styrofoam
• Fabrics and clothing 
• Food and drink pouches 
• Milk and juice cartons 
• Toys 
• Office supplies 
• Sporting goods 
• Shoes and footwear 
• Pet food packaging 
• Used cleaning supplies 
• Party supplies and disposables 

Click here to see a list of what is accepted within each waste stream and learn more about how each waste stream is recycled.

Once you collect my full Zero Waste Bags, will you automatically bring me another empty bag?

No. After we collect your full Zero Waste Bags, you can continue recycling your hard-to-recycle items by purchasing Zero Waste Bags as needed.

If you would like to receive Zero Waste Bags on a regular basis (every month, 3 months, or 6 months), you can opt into our “Subscribe & Save” feature on our store and receive 10% off!

How does the “Subscribe & Save” feature work?

If you would like to receive Zero Waste Bags on a regular basis, you can opt into our “Subscribe & Save” feature on our store. This allows you to choose the quantity of Zero Waste Bags you’d like to receive and how often (every month, every 3 months, or every 6 months). When you opt into this “Subscribe & Save” feature, we will automatically drop off your Zero Waste Bags at the frequency you choose so you don’t have to remember to reorder. You will also receive 10% off your purchase!

Can I put more than 1 type of waste stream in a Zero Waste Bag?

No. Please only put items from one specific waste stream in each Zero Waste Bag. Mark the checkbox for that waste stream on the bag to indicate what’s inside.

Is there anything you can’t accept in your Zero Waste Bags?

We cannot accept any items that are not included in the 24 accepted waste stream categories. We also cannot accept any loose items placed outside of the Zero Waste Bags or any Zero Waste Bags that are filled in such a way where the bag cannot be closed.

In addition, Small and Large Zero Waste Bags accept different waste streams. Please only put accepted items (listed on the bag) in the respective Zero Waste Bag. If you are unsure or have a specific question, please contact us at

I don’t see batteries, light bulbs, or paint listed as an available waste stream. Why not?

For this pilot, we are starting small. However, in the future, these items might become available as an accepted waste stream.

Do I have to clean the items before I put them in my Zero Waste Bag?

Yes, please remove as much of the remaining product as possible before including the item in your bag. Our team appreciates it!

Do I need to schedule a pickup of my full Zero Waste Bag?

No scheduling needed! Whenever you are ready for collection, simply put your Zero Waste Bag beside your CompostNow bin on your collection day.

Are there additional fees for this Hard-to-Recycle service?

Nope! Besides the cost of purchasing a Zero Waste Bag via our online store, there are no additional fees for this service for our members.

If I cancel my composting service, how do I return my full Zero Waste Bag?

We offer this program exclusively for CompostNow members in Charleston and are unable to collect Zero Waste Bags from non-members. Please return your Zero Waste bag either before or on your final collection day.

Can I return my unused Zero Waste Bag?

We do not offer returns or refunds for our Zero Waste Bags.

Where can I purchase a Zero Waste Bag? When will I receive it?

You can purchase our Small or Large Zero Waste Bags via our online store. Once ordered, we will drop them off on your next collection day.