Richard Robinson celebrates 80th birthday serving the county

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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SALUDA–On a cool Tuesday morning, Richard Robinson, well known in Saluda, Green Creek, and Tryon for driving the Mobile Recycling Truck for Polk County, celebrated his 80th birthday on the job, complete with cake and decorations.


When Richard Robinson moved to Polk County from Upstate New York after retiring, he volunteered to drive the recycling truck temporarily. Nine years later, he’s still at it, serving the community and making new friends along the way. 

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“When the county asked me to do this, I thought I’d just be doing it for a little while,” says Robinson. “But I found I really enjoyed it and I really love the people, and nine-plus years later, I’m still at it.”


“Everyone in Polk County knows Richard Robinson—one of the very few Polk County employees we residents see and interact with on at least a weekly basis,” says David Carey of Saluda, a friend of Richard’s and regular recycler. “He’s a beloved local fixture, who is always on time, always with a twinkle in his eye, always ready with a story—rain or shine.”


Richard’s day starts early to ensure the Mobile Recycling Truck and trailer are where they are supposed to be Monday through Wednesday. He wakes up at 3 a.m. to start the day with a good breakfast, picking up the truck and trailer by 6 a.m. to ensure it’s ready for the public from 7 a.m. to noon. The Mobile Recycling Truck and Robinson can be found Monday at Harmon Field in Tryon, Tuesday at the corner of Hwy. 176 and Ozone Dr. in Saluda and every other Wednesday at the Green Creek Fire Department. 


The Mobile Recycling Truck is a service of the Polk County Solid Waste and Recycling Center. It is also set up in Columbus on Thursdays on Mill St. across from the courthouse.