Our do’s and don’ts of recyclable items

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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I wish to thank our recyclers for the work they do providing space in their homes to sort and save their recyclables and to deliver them to our various recycling locations. Over the nine years I’ve driven the recycling truck and trailer many of you have come out rain or shine to recycle. Help is readily forthcoming if you can’t climb the stairs or even carry your recyclables to the trailer so don’t let those considerations stop you.

Folks have been doing an outstanding job of breaking down their corrugated cardboard boxes and sorting their materials before approaching the trailer.                                                                     

Our pickup locations are at Harmon Field (Mon.), Saluda (Tues.), Green Creek every Wed. at the fire dept. and in Columbus behind the Polk County Museum on Ward St. Extension on Thurs. All pickups are from 7:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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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.

The following metal items are not recyclable at the truck: coat hangers, hardware, tin foil or tin pie pans, 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.

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, mirrors etc. 

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 and allows the attendant to help those who can’t climb or who need other assistance. Your help is much appreciated. 

We accept many recyclable items including aluminum drink cans, plastic containers, glass bottles, cardboard, mixed paper, batteries and lightbulbs. 


Dan Dworkin

Recycling Attendant