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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

Recycling Facts

Our planet is choking on plastic. It is time to change how we produce, consume and dispose of the plastic we use.

In the U.S., about 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour! Recycling them helps the environment tremendously.

Billions of plastic bottles are sold and opened every day and many of the bottle caps end up in our oceans and on our beaches. Marine mammals, birds and fish see plastic bottle caps as food, which can lead to ingestion and potentially fatal consequences.

Recycling cardboard produces less than 50% sulfur-dioxide than making the card from raw materials. 17 billion cardboard tubes are thrown in trash annually. Recycling one ton of cardboard equates to saving 390 kWh of energy and 46 gallons of oil. Recycling one ton of corrugated equals saving 700 gallons of water.

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.


Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum in the landfills to build our nation's entire commercial air fleet!

Recycling aluminum lowers the urgency for mining new aluminum, which in turn helps to preserve the environment.

Metal recycling is good for the national economy and the environment e.g. increased local employment and reduced emissions.

Recycling one ton of steel saves 1,136 kg of iron ore, 454 kg of coal and 18 kg of limestone

Recycle at the Polk County Recycle Center:

1. Plastic Drink Bottles

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic is used for water, soda, and juice bottles.  
Caps should always be removed so the bottles can dry before recycling.

2. 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 recycled separately.


3. Plastic Caps & Lids (up to 8")

Some day, Green Tree Plastics will make benches out of the plastic caps we collect at the Recycle Center. Their ABC (A Bench for Caps) Partnership is a way for community organizations to recycle plastic caps, while also providing the community with benches made from caps. The caps need to be clean and dry - they will penalize us for dirty caps. 


Sorting out the dirty caps is a very time consuming and inefficient task for our volunteers. Please help by ensuring your caps are clean, dry, and separate from the rest of your material. Help us provide our community with benches made from recycled caps!

4. Cardboard


Always remove inner packaging and flatten cardboard well to conserve space.


5. Aluminum Cans

Aluminum cans should be fully drained before recycling.

6. Steel Cans

You can test which metal is in your bin by using a magnet. Aluminium metal is non-magnetic whereas steel is magnetic. 

Trash Picking

Why Recycle?

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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