Mobile recycling information 

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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The Polk County mobile recycling pickup locations are at Harmon Field on Mondays, Ozone Drive and Hwy. 176 in Saluda on Tuesdays, Green Creek Fire Department every Wednesday and behind the Museum in Columbus on Thursdays. All pickup locations accept recyclables from 7 a.m. to noon. 

In this letter, I’d like to talk about what is not recyclable since there is considerable confusion here. The key word is containers. The plastic that is recyclable is in the form of containers that hold either food or household products. These have the numbers 1 – 7 stamped in a triangle on the bottom. 

Virtually all other plastic like coat hangers, packing, bubble wrap, drinking straws, plastic implements, plastic bags, styrofoam etc. are not recyclable.

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The following metal items are not recyclable: coat hangers, hardware, tin foil or tin pie pans, and other metal tools or gadgets. All metal is recyclable at the landfill. Containers, either metal or plastic, that have held poison, pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, anti-freeze, etc. are not recyclable.


Our recyclable categories are as follows:

  • Aluminum drink cans 
  • Plastic containers and steel cans together Glass (bottles only)
  • Corrugated cardboard 
  • Mixed paper (includes books, magazines, paper in any form)


Some other items that have caused confusion are other aluminum cans, like cat food cans. They go in with the plastic. Glass, other than glass bottles that have held food or household products, is not recyclable. Examples are ceramics, drinking glasses, window glass and mirrors. 

We also take all kinds of batteries, except car batteries, and all kinds of light bulbs.

A warm thank-you to all our recyclers. Many now crush their plastic milk jugs and other large plastic containers. That helps us get a lot more material on the trailer. Many also break down their corrugated cardboard boxes which frees up the attendant to help those folks who are insecure about climbing the stairs up onto the trailer or who are handicapped and can only deliver their recyclables but need the attendant to handle them.

Last Thursday a five-year-old girl carried a bag of plastic bigger than she was up to the trailer. I asked her if she’d like to recycle it herself. “Sure,” she said. I gave her a hand as she climbed up onto the step and the trailer walkway. Then I handed her the bag and with a little help she emptied it into the bin which was higher than her head. 

Her grandmother handed up a second bag which she also dumped. Then she, holding my hand, climbed down with a smile that lit up the world.

Come join us and see future recyclers in action.



Dan Dworkin

Polk County Mobile Recycling