Wake County offers a series of presentations on waste and recycling. Staff are available to speak to neighborhood associations, civic, environmental and religious groups, homeschools, community colleges, businesses, private schools, scout troops, and all other clubs and community-based organizations in Wake County. For Wake County Public Schools, view presentation information here.


Listed below are the presentation topics available. The content of the presentations can be adjusted to meet the learning needs of various audiences. Due to the technical nature of each presentation, suggested ages range from 8 years and up. If your audience is younger, please contact us for our youth activities. If your group is interested in a presentation, please select a topic from the following list, and complete the presentation request form below:

Wake Co. Waste Management Div. (30 mins)

Wake County’s Solid Waste Management Division manages the safe disposal of over one million people's trash, as well as 19 waste and recycling facilities. They also coordinate a number of award-winning environmental educational programs. Last year the Solid Waste Management Division landfilled approximately 500,000 tons of municipal waste, recycled over 37,000 tons of materials and generated enough electricity using landfill gas to power as many as 15,000 homes. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview of the waste facilities, programs and services available for FREE, to all Wake County residents.

Waste Reduction (30 mins)

From most preferred to least preferred, reduce first, reuse second, and recycle third (in that order), each step forms an important part of the Waste Management Hierarchy. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview on how we can all do our part to reduce waste. With a quiz to test your knowledge and the chance to win some waste reduction prizes, this presentation provides useful tips to help residents reduce their waste at the source, before they reuse, and recycle.

Reuse (30 mins)

The next step in the Waste Management Hierarchy after reduce is reuse. Reuse is the practice of using an item again, whether for its original purpose or for a different function. Reuse is distinguished from recycling, which is the breaking down of waste items into their raw materials. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview on how we can reuse our waste, or give it a new function, to help lower the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Recycling Demystified (30 mins)

Should I wash recycling before throwing it in the recycle bin? Should I leave the cap on a plastic bottle? Why can't all plastic containers be recycled if they have a number on the bottom? Learn the answers to all these questions, including how to recycle right and how to recycle more. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview on the whats, the whys and the hows of recycling your waste.

Backyard Composting (30 mins)

So you've already reduced, reused and recycled your waste, and now you're thinking of trying composting, but you’re not sure where or even how to start. Composting, put simply, is a method to speed up the natural decay process that has been taking place on Earth for millions of years. Composting is nature's way of recycling. By bringing together the right ingredients in the right recipe, you can make nutrient-rich compost in as little as six months. This slideshow presentation provides an overview of the basics of backyard composting.

Worms Eat My Garbage (30 mins)

Earthworms, the workhorses of soil, can rapidly produce a product far richer than compost, called vermicompost, so full of nutrients it is often referred to as "black gold." What's more, they love to feed on the parts of fruit and vegetables we throw away, such as apple cores and banana peels. Worm bins can also be kept indoors and year round, making them a preferred choice for townhomes or apartment dwellers. Meet some wiggly heroes and learn the basics of vermicomposting in this slideshow presentation.

The Journey of Trash (30 mins)

Have you ever wondered what happens to your trash when you leave your cart at the curb? Hint: It doesn't just disappear, but many of us never give it a second thought. Collection day is just the first day in a long journey for our waste. Some of the waste we make today will remain in existence long after our legacies have faded from our great-great-great-grandchildren’s memories. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview of what happens to our trash after we've rolled our carts to the curb.

They Don’t Build Landfills Like They Used To (30 mins)

The South Wake Landfill opened in 2008 and is the only active Municipal Solid Waste Landfill left in Wake County. It disposes of more than 500,000 tons of trash from Wake County residents and businesses each year and is expected to last until 2040. When full, it will have a footprint of approximately 179 acres and reach an elevation of 520 feet above sea level. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview of how Wake County safeguards the environment and public health by safely disposing of one million people's trash; from the planning stages through to post-closure maintenance, residents can learn all about how modern-day landfills are built.

Landfill Gas-to-Energy (30 mins)

Back to the future is happening now! Learn how we can use trash, like "Doc" in the movie "Back to the Future," to power engines. This slideshow presentation provides a 30-minute overview on how Wake County is putting landfill gases like methane (a harmful greenhouse gas) to better use.


If your community group is interested in a presentation, please complete and submit this request form two weeks in advance of your requested date. Please allow up to two business days for a response. For more information about community presentations email Sara Davarbakhsh, Community Outreach Coordinator, or call 919-856-7412.