But can no longer accept paper
By Emily Banks Wooten
The Polk County Recycling Center has collected over 55,000 pounds of recyclable materials since opening in November and volunteers have contributed over 800 hours so far this year.
The recycling center—which is run by the community, for the community—is located at 10311 State Hwy. 146 in Livingston (nine miles south of Hwy. 190), across from FM 2665. Google Maps tends to steer people wrong (telling them to turn off on Old
Hwy 146), so people should be aware of that if they rely on Google Maps for directions.
Polk County Recycling & Beautification (PCRB) is the nonprofit organization that relies on grants, donations and volunteers to run, staff and maintain the recycling center and they’re always looking for volunteers. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. One may follow PCRB on Facebook or visit its website at www.pcrbtexas.org for the latest updates and to find information regarding volunteer opportunities.
Unfortunately, effective immediately, the recycling center is no longer accepting paper because it is having a negative impact on the operation.
“Too much trash has been mixed in with the paper we’ve received, making it very time consuming to sort and our equipment is not ideal for handling paper. Paper consumes more storage space than we originally anticipated, and it decomposes in weeks or months in the landfill, unlike metal cans which take decades and plastic which takes centuries,” Operations Manager Brian McNinch said.
“We believe we can provide a more efficient and beneficial service to the community, and provide a more enjoyable experience for our volunteers, by eliminating paper from our accepted materials,” McNinch said.
“However, we will continue to accept paperboard boxes. Paperboard boxes are non-corrugated, like cereal and soda boxes. We will also continue to accept corrugated cardboard,” McNinch said.
Accepted materials include #1 and #2 plastics, cardboard, and aluminum and steel “tin” cans. Only clean materials can be recycled so all plastic containers and steel cans should be rinsed prior to dropping off.
#1 plastics are clear plastic containers that have a triangle stamped in the plastic with a “1” inside, such as water bottles, beverage bottles, produce containers and pantry aisle plastic containers such as spices and condiments. Remove all caps and rinse well to remove any residual food or drink waste. Labels do not need to be removed.
#2 plastics are stiff colored or milky plastic containers that have a triangle stamped in the plastic with a “2” inside, such as milk jugs, detergent bottles and shampoo and conditioner bottles. Remove all caps and rinse well. Labels do not need to be removed.
Corrugated cardboard, such as delivery boxes, will be accepted. However, greasy boxes or boxes that have gotten wet cannot be recycled at this facility.
Aluminum cans will be accepted but aluminum foil and other metals cannot be recycled at this facility. Aluminum cans should be drained completely and rinsed. Steel, or “tin,” can used to package pet food, fruits, vegetables and soups will be accepted. Rinse well to remove food waste and put the lid in the can. It’s recyclable too. Labels do not need to be removed.