South Wake Landfill-

The South Wake Landfill in Apex is the primary disposal method for municipal solid waste generated by residents and businesses in Wake County. The landfill does not accept waste from out of county.

South Wake Landfill

The landfill accepts waste from licensed haulers, with limited access for homeowners. Wake County residents should refer to Convenience Centers first for drop-off information.


6300 Old Smithfield Road, Apex NC 27539

Hours of Operation

  • Open: Monday–Saturday, 7 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Closed: Sundays, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (at 1 p.m.) and Christmas Day.

Acceptable Items

The South Wake Landfill is permitted to accept municipal solid waste. Municipal Solid Waste includes residential waste from households, commercial waste from businesses, and non-hazardous waste from industry. 

Mattresses and box springs: Limit 40 mattresses and/or box springs per day, per organization.


  • Municipal Solid Waste: $32 per ton, includes $2 per ton State of North Carolina excise tax.
  • Corrugated Cardboard: $62 per ton. Surcharge applies to loads with 10% or more corrugated cardboard.

Payment Methods

Payment can be made by cash, check or credit account:

Additional Information

Unacceptable Items

  • Aluminum beverage cans – accepted at Multi-Material Recycling Facilities
  • Barrels and drums that are not perforated sufficiently to ensure that no liquid or hazardous waste is contained therein
  • Burning or smoldering materials
  • Construction and Demolition debris. See Resources for private C&D Facilities
  • Flammable and volatile wastes
  • Hazardous wastes – "Hazardous waste" means a solid waste or combination of solid wastes that, because of its quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may:
    • Cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating, reversible illness; or
    • Pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported or disposed of or otherwise managed.
  • Infectious wastes, except as provided by the N.C. Solid Waste Management Rules. "Infectious waste" means a solid waste capable of producing an infectious disease. The types of waste designated as infectious are microbiological waste, pathological waste, blood products and sharps.
  • Lead-acid batteries – accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Facilities
  • Liquids
  • Mattresses and box springs – accepted at the South Wake Landfill. Limit 6 mattress/box springs per load at the East Wake Transfer Station.
  • Pesticide containers – accepted at Multi-Material Recycling Facilities
  • Plastic bottles - accepted at Multi-Material Recycling Facilities
  • Raw sewage sludge, septic tank pumpings, or raw manure
  • Semi-solids
  • Sludges from industrial processes or sludges containing free moisture
  • Used scrap tires – accepted at Multi-Material Recycling Facilities
  • White goods – accepted at Multi-Material Recycling Facilities
  • Yard waste. See Resources for private yard waste Facilities 
  • Any other item or material prohibited by local, state and/or federal regulations

Key Features

​Total County Waste Generation and Landfill Needs

  • Total County population – 1.112 million (2019)
  • Total municipal waste generation – 650,000 tons in 2009, 800,000 tons in 2016
  • Municipal/County partnership process concluded that in-county landfill was best option
  • Need to provide for 25-year disposal capacity
  • Due to significant increases in recycling efforts, the total disposal volumes at the South Wake Landfill are approximately 475,000–500,000 tons per year.

Landfill Size and Key Elements

  • 179 acres of disposal area
  • 290 acres of buffer and soil excavation area
  • Household and commercial waste disposal
  • Citizen drop-off facilities at the site
  • Opened in February 2008
  • Citizen Committee to connect with community

Landfill Impact On County Taxes and Property Values

  • Operates on enterprise fund system – no County taxes
  • $20 per year County household fee for other facilities
  • Studies show impacts are in the planning period.
  • Property values around North Wake Landfill escalate at or above average.

Environmental Considerations

  • Impermeable Synthetic Base Liner System to protect water quality
  • Monitoring to protect groundwater
  • Gas system and monitoring to protect air
  • Minimized wetlands disturbance
  • Leachate to Holly Springs sewer system
  • Operating protocol to stop unacceptable waste
  • Site and roadside litter clean-up protocol

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the South Wake Landfill and how big is it?

The South Wake Landfill is located southwest of the intersection of Old Smithfield Road and Highway 55 Bypass, in Apex NC. The landfill covers 471 acres; 179 acres will be used for the burial of waste, 290 acres make up buffers and soil excavation areas.

When did the landfill open?

The South Wake Landfill opened in February 2008.

How long will the landfill remain in operation?

The landfill was designed with a 25-year capacity. The landfill is estimated to remain in operation until around 2040. 

Why do the seagulls come?

The gulls arrive in the fall (early-mid November), from the Great Lakes. They stay for the mild winter and depart in the spring (mid-late March). 

Are chemicals used to treat the odors at the landfill?

Yes. Plant based, non-toxic chemicals are used to neutralize odors at the landfill.  

Will I be able to see the landfill from Highway 55 Bypass?

Currently, trees in the buffer area between the landfill and Highway 55 block the landfill from view. See the South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee visualization study for visualizations of how the landfill will affect the landscape in years to come. 

How high will the landfill be when it is finished?

The landfill is expected to reach 520 ft above sea level. The surrounding area in Holly Springs ranges from 300 to 400 feet (Mean Sea Level). 

Will my property value be impacted by the landfill?

Studies from across the Country show that any impact from a landfill on property value occurs during site planning and permitting. Once a landfill is operational, there is generally not a negative impact on property value. According to the Wake County Revenue Director, property values at the County's North Wake Landfill increased 49% from 1992 to 2000, compared to the County average increase of 43%. Since 2000, property values have increased in line with the County average.

Who operates the landfill?

Wake County has a 25-year contract with GFL, Environmental Inc. (formerly Waste Industries) to operate the South Wake Landfill. 

Will my County property tax go up because of the landfill?

No. The landfill is part of an enterprise fund; this means that the tipping fees collected for the disposal of waste cover the cost of operating the landfill. The County’s general budget does not fund the South Wake Landfill. 

How will water quality/air quality be affected by the landfill?

Today's landfills are designed with an impermeable liner system to separate the trash from coming into contact with the natural surrounding soils and water table. The liner system collects any rainwater that comes in contact with the trash, and pipes it into a holding tank, where it is pre-treated and then piped to a wastewater treatment plant via the public sewer system. The groundwater around the landfill is routinely monitored through an extensive system of perimeter wells to ensure that the liner system is performing as expected. The results of the sampling of the wells are submitted to the State on a semiannual basis. The landfill has an air quality permit issued by the State that requires routine sampling of air emissions from the landfill. The air quality permit requires that any gases generated by the landfill are destroyed, either as a fuel source or in a flare, to prevent emission of methane into the environment. 

What kinds of waste are accepted at the landfill?

The South Wake Landfill is permitted to take municipal solid waste. Municipal solid waste consists of general household waste, waste from commercial businesses, waste disposed of at Convenience Centers located around the County and non-hazardous waste from industries. The South Wake Landfill will not accept waste from outside the County.  

I’ve heard something about a South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee. What is the purpose of the Citizens Committee?

A committee for neighbors of the landfill has been organized to assist the County with development and continued operations of the landfill. The South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee brings together a group of people who live in the surrounding areas of the landfill site and who are interested in having a voice in the continued operations of the landfill and assist the County in analysis of issues and in the decision-making process that occurs from the present time to the closing of the landfill. The primary purpose of the Citizens Committee is for the individual members of the committee to act as representatives of their particular subdivision and town, and to act as liaisons between homeowners’ associations, town councils and the County on any issues that need to be addressed regarding the landfill throughout its operating life.   

Will the Committee have a real impact?

Public participation is strongly encouraged by Wake County and in particular a division that interacts with the public on a regular basis like the Solid Waste Management Division. We are all citizens and we understand the importance and value of having citizen partners as a resource. A landfill committee formed at the North Wake Landfill met for 18 months and determined how the 300-plus acres of county land would be used after the landfill was closed to best benefit the citizens in the area and the wider community. The effort of the citizens resulted in the development of a comprehensive land use plan that reflected the recommendations of the committee. As a result of these efforts, one of the County's newest parks, Green Hills County Park, was constructed. 

Who serves on the Citizens Committee?

Volunteers willing to commit their time and energy. The Citizens Committee will have direct input to developing policies and procedures, general landscape philosophies, additional solid waste services needed or desired in the area and ensuring that the South Wake Landfill will be a good neighbor. 

How often will the Committee meet?

The Citizens Committee meets semi-annually at the South Wake Waste Management Field Office, 6025 Old Smithfield Road, Apex, NC, 27539. 

Archived Newsletters

Click on a link below to view previous editions of the South Wake Landfill eNewsletter:

Get Involved

The South Wake Landfill Citizen Committee provides;

  • A forum for neighbors of the landfill to have a voice in its continuing development
  • A conduit for information between landfill staff and the neighboring community regarding activities at the landfill

If you are interested in getting involved visit the South Wake Landfill Citizens Committee page. 

Contact Us

The landfill is for commercial garbage trucks to dispose of waste. For questions about residential household garbage, recycling or bulky waste, go to the Convenience Center trash disposal and recycling sites.

For general inquires about waste and recycling, please call 919-856-7400.

Facility Manager: Roy Baldwin