Where and What to Recycle in Whitfield County

It’s time to get back to basics and review what is accepted and not accepted in our local recycling program.

Like garbage collection services, recycling collection is unique to each city. Recycling services and even the types of materials collected for recycling vary widely based on population size, availability of material recovery facilities and services provided by municipalities and local governments. Here is an overview of what is accepted in our community.

Residents in Whitfield County can recycle a variety of materials including paper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles at one of four drop-off sites. These sites, called convenience centers or transfer stations, are conveniently located at four ends of the county. The sites, owned and operated by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, are accessible five to six days a week. Each one provides a drop-off area or container for recyclables and even bagged household garbage.

Locations include the Old Dixie Landfill and Convenience Center at the south end of the county near the Tilton community; Westside Convenience Center in the west side of Dalton near Rocky Face; M.L. King Jr. Boulevard Convenience Center just outside the city of Dalton; and the McGaughey Chapel Convenience Center in Cohutta at the north end of the county.

Each site is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Please note that Westside is closed on Tuesdays, and McGaughey Chapel is closed on Wednesdays. Convenience centers are closed to observe major holidays including New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. To find out if a location will be open, visit www.dwswa.org or call (706) 277-2545.

Recyclable materials accepted at no charge at all convenience centers include clean and dry paper; flattened or broken down cardboard boxes; food grade glass bottles and jars that are clear, brown, blue, green; plastic bottles, jugs and jars for household items like food, beverages and soap; aluminum beverage cans; bi-metal or steel cans like soup cans; scrap metal; appliances; scrap tires (fees apply); used motor oil; lead acid batteries; rechargeable batteries; and yard trimmings or leaf and limb debris. The Old Dixie Highway location also accepts carpet and carpet padding for recycling, and electronic devices (fees may apply).

City of Dalton residents who have garbage pickup provided by the Dalton Public Works Department also qualify for curbside recycling. Recyclables are collected from the curb once a week on the same day garbage is collected. If you have a city garbage cart but don’t have a blue curbside recycling bin you can call the public works department at (706) 278-7077 to request one.

Recyclables accepted in the curbside bins include mixed paper (such as telephone books, newspapers, junk mail, paperboard boxes); cardboard boxes broken down to a size of three feet or less; food grade glass bottles and jars; plastic bottles, jugs and jars; aluminum beverage cans; and bi-metal or steel food cans. If you have one recycling bin it’s helpful to put all paper items on the bottom and containers on top. If you have two blue bins you should put paper and cardboard in one bin and all containers in the other.

The curbside program does not collect batteries, used motor oil, carpet, appliances or electronics. City residents are encouraged to take those items to a convenience center near them such as the M.L. King Jr. Boulevard location. Dalton Public Works does collect yard trimmings, however, that is part of a separate collection program. To find out when leaf and limb debris is collected in your neighborhood, call (706) 278-7077.

If you live in the city of Varnell there is a recycling drop-off area with two large collection containers near the city's administration office at the corner of Kinnamon and Main Street. One container is only for clean and dry paper and cardboard, while the second has a compartment for aluminum beverage cans and one for plastic bottles and jugs. If you want to recycle even more items or have household trash to dispose of, visit the Westside Convenience Center.

With several drop-off locations to choose from, and even a curbside program, residents have many opportunities to recycle traditional and nontraditional items. To download a detailed list with photos showing what to recycle, visit www.dwswa.org and click on “Recycling 101” or call (706) 278-5001 to have one mailed to you.