COVID-19 Update: All landfill tours have been postponed until July 2020.    

Wake County Solid Waste offer free tours of the South Wake Landfill and Sonoco's Recycling Facility.

South Wake Landfill Tours

Have you ever wondered what happens to your trash when it leaves the curb? Collection day is just the first day in a long journey for your trash. Join us on a free tour of an active landfill to find out where it all ends up. Tours last 60 minutes and participants are expected to be able to board a multi-passenger bus. Private vehicles are not permitted past landfill gates.

On the tour, you will also learn:

  • Where you can recycle additional household items, not picked up at the curb
  • What common household items are harmful to the environment if placed in the trash
  • Where to dispose of harmful household items safely
  • How to reduce waste at home, school or work
  • How Wake County is using household trash to make energy
"Since taking a tour of Wake County waste facilities and the landfill I've become more knowledgeable and environmentally conscious about my consuming habits"
– Kenice, City of Raleigh.


Location: South Wake Landfill is located at 6025 Old Smithfield Road, Apex, NC 27539.

Waivers: All public tour participants are required to read and electronically sign a waiver during online registration.

Registration: Online registration is required to take a tour. Tour participants must be aged 8 years or older by the date of the tour, no exceptions. A chaperone is required for participants under the age of 16. Tours are prioritized for Wake County residents. Register here for an upcoming public landfill tour.

Private Tours

Free private tours are available (for civic, environmental and religious groups, businesses, scout troops, homeschools, colleges, private schools, charter schools, and all other clubs and community based organizations) by completing a request form. A minimum of five participants per group is required. Private tours can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Requests for private tours should be made two weeks in advance. Participants must be aged 8 years or older, no exceptions. Private tours are prioritized for groups who operate in Wake County.

Personal vehicle convoys are not permitted past landfill gates, no exceptions. Group transportation is available at no cost. A maximum of 14 participants can be accommodated in Wake County group transportation, no exceptions. If your group is larger than 14, group transportation must be arranged at own expense. You must indicate whether you require a County vehicle on the request form for it to be reserved for your tour.

Waivers: All private tour participants are required to read and sign a waiver form prior to the tour, no exceptionsBring signed waivers with you on the day of the tour:

South Wake Landfill Tour – County vehicle waiver

South Wake Landfill Tour – Non-County vehicle waiver

Note: In the event of inclement weather, tours may be canceled. Participants will receive notice of cancellation via email.

Wake County Public Schools, Wake County Public Schools, view field trip information here.

For more information on public and private landfill tours email Sara Davarbakhsh, Community Outreach Coordinator, or call: 919-856-7412.