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Recycling Resources

All the News and Updates You Need to Be a Recycling Expert

With an aim to be the leading recycling center in Polk County, we want people to be well-informed about what we can and cannot accept at our Recycling Center. Check out the flyers below and share them with your family & friends.

Volunteers Cleaning

Be a Recycling Hero

Being a Recycling Hero means having a zero-tolerance policy for littering, speaking up when you see someone littering, and making sure to always recycle your empty beverage containers. 

Let's work together to increase the
East Texas recycling rate for beverage containers.

Every bottle. Every can.

Recycling in the Classroom

Top Recycled Items

¡Gracias por enviar!

Facts like these highlight the need for more people to make use of the recycling center instead of putting everything into the trash bin. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, take steps to ensure the following 10 items end up at the recycling center and not in the trash:

1. Cardboard

Sending one ton of cardboard to the recycling center can save over 9 cubic yards of landfill space and 24 percent of the energy required to make new cardboard. Flatten cardboard well to conserve space.

2. Paperboard

The thin cardboard used for shoe boxes, product boxes and similar containers is also recyclable. Be sure to flatten this as well in order to save space in the recycling bin.

3. Plastic Drink Bottles

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic is used for water, soda, and juice bottles. In the U.S., about 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour. Recycling them helps the environment tremendously.

4. Plastic Product Bottles

Thicker plastic bottles used for shampoo, detergent, and similar items can also be recycled. These bottles should be rinsed clean and their plastic tops removed and discarded.

5. Plastic Grocery Bags & Other Single-Use Plastic Films

Between 1 and 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, and they are used on average for about 12 minutes. Plastic bags take about 500 years to break down, but clean, dry bags are 100% recyclable, and often turned into new plastic bags. 

6. Aluminum Cans

Aluminum retains its properties indefinitely, so it is an excellent candidate for recycling. Doing so requires 95 percent less energy than making brand-new cans. Recycling aluminum lowers the urgency for mining new aluminum, which in turn helps to preserve the environment.

Trash Picking

Bienvenido a Reciclaje y Embellecimiento del Condado de Polk

Recycling benefits the environment by diverting hundreds of millions of pounds of valuable materials from landfills and avoiding millions of metric tons of greenhouse emissions annually, creating healthier air and cleaner waterways. Recycling reduces the need for sourcing new raw materials through mining and logging, which can create water pollution and emit greenhouse gases. It also saves energy used to produce new products from raw materials.

Recycling benefits future generations by decreasing our use and reliance on natural resources and decreasing what we put in landfalls, which leads to the production of greenhouse gases and decreases water and air pollution.

Tips to Help You Recycle More, Better 

Start by participating. Half of what American households throw away is recyclable. 

Know what to throw [and what not to throw]. In most communities, plastic bags, clothing, food and liquid, garden hoses, electrical cords, Styrofoam™, needles and yard waste do not belong in recycling bin. Check before visiting our Center to learn what materials are and are not accepted.

Properly dispose of masks, wipes, and gloves. These items are not recyclable and should not be flushed.

Twin the bin. Make it easy for anyone in your house to recycle as easy as it is to throw something away. Locate your in-home recycling bin next to your trash can. 

Empty your recyclables. Before you toss your empty cans, bottles, and cartons, make sure you remove food waste and such – then recycle.

Return items to stores for recycling. Some items can’t be recycled at the curbside in some programs. These include plastic wraps and films, plastic shopping bags, and air shipping pillows. Many retail locations provide recycling centers for these items. Check where your buy your groceries, electronics, and hardware for participating locations.

Keep electronics and batteries out of the recycling cart. While these should be recycled, batteries and electronics cannot be recycled at most Recycling Centers. These can start fires at recycling centers, trash centers, and in trucks. Please take a moment to check locally for hard-to-recycle items.

Help recycle better where you live, learn, work, and play. 

Reduce, reuse, and rethink. When it comes to sustainability, reducing, reusing, and rethinking only help to further recycling efforts to protect our planet. Find ways to reduce your consumption, reuse items, and rethink your needs and approach. For example, you can:

  • Reduce by purchasing smaller amounts of food or having it pre-cut to your family’s unique needs. Remember, when it comes to sustainability, it starts at the cart.

  • Reuse by purchasing reusable options of products and shop with your reusable shopping bag.

  • Rethink by considering the packaging of what you purchase to see if it’s recyclable or made from recycled content.

While recycling may feel universal, the truth is only slightly more than half of Americans can easily recycle at home, but together we’re working to change this and transform U.S. recycling for good. 

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