1) Styrofoam is not a marketable product. It costs lots of money to process into a usable product (the process is called densifying), and polystyrene has an extremely low market value, so our vendors cannot make money off the product (remember that recycling is a business). That is the reason we cannot accept it for recycling. You can take your styrofoam egg cartons, meat trays, and cups to Publix for recycling, but I cannot give you any information on how they are able to process the materials in a cost-effective manner.

2) We cannot accept grocery bags or any type of plastic film in the City’s blue bins or at the County’s recycling centers because the plastic film causes problems with the vendor’s machinery during the sorting process; the film wraps around conveyor belts, and machinery must be shut down for prolonged periods so the bags can be fished out. It can only be processed in a certain way, which is why grocery stores can accept that type of material, but we cannot.

3) Spartanburg County operates 17 staffed recycling centers that are open from 7 AM until 7 PM, Monday through Saturday with the Landfill site closing at 4:30 PM; this is more staffed centers with more open hours than any other County! We cannot offer curbside recycling for the 290,000 Spartanburg County residents, so we have offered multiple sites throughout the County to make recycling as convenient as possible. If you’d like to find out about which private curbside vendors offer recycling, please call us!
4) Alkaline or “regular” batteries may be taken to the Battery Post on Union St. or to Batteries Plus on Blackstock Rd. Fluorescent bulbs may be taken to Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can also bring these items to the County’s Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event (March 28, 2015). The County cannot accept these materials at our recycling centers, simply because it is extremely expensive to recycle them.

5) We cannot accept some items for recycling at all of our sites simply because the centers are too small to accept those items. We strive to make recycling convenient for all residents, while still maintaining an efficient process with a limited staff and a limited budget.

6) We can accept any type of plastic that is labeled with a recycling symbol with a number 1-7 with the exception of styrofoam and plastic film (i.e. grocery bags). If your plastic does not have a recycling symbol, or the symbol does not have a number, you can throw it away with regular household trash. If you experience any confusion about a particular item, please call the recycling coordinator directly at 949-1658.

Other issues we can easily clear up:
-We accept antifreeze, motor oil, oil filters, and lead-acid batteries for recycling at all 17 of our staffed recycling centers.
-We accept paint at all 17 of our recycling centers.
-Motor oil bottles ARE recyclable.
-Mixed paper & cardboard can be recycled together at all locations (we’re working on getting better signage).
-Cell phones can be recycled with electronics.
-Steel cans (vegetable, soup, tuna, cat food, etc.) CAN be recycled with our commingled items.

-If we are closed for the holidays, our staff will not be in the office, but please leave a voicemail because we can (and do) return calls even when we’re not in the office!
Please call us at 949-1658 or email jsdao@spartanburgcounty.org if you have a specific question, if you need something that confuses you cleared up, if you’d like a copy of our brochure, if you’d like to schedule a recycling education program for your school, church group, club, etc., if you’d like to know which recycling center is closest to you, if you’d like to schedule a tour of the Wellford Landfill, or if you’d like to hear our recycling coordinator give you a very long list of all the great reasons to recycle.