City of Dalton residents without blue recycling bins have probably wondered why their neighbor has a bin or two, and they don’t. It’s not uncommon to drive thru a neighborhood on garbage day and see one house with a garbage cart and a recycling bin at the curb and the next four with only a garbage cart set out. You’ll also find whole neighborhoods where both sides of the street are lined with both recycling bins and garbage carts waiting to be emptied.
Single family homes of three units or less in the City of Dalton which have garbage pickup service through the Dalton Public Works Department qualify for curbside recycling service. Public works manages the collection of both garbage and recycling at the curb. The department estimates that there are now over 4,100 homes participating in the curbside recycling program. In 2016, more than two and a half million pounds of recyclables were collected at the curb.
Curbside recycling, however, is voluntary, requiring that residents first request the service, leaving many homes with only garbage pickup. If you have garbage service through Dalton Public Works, but are missing out on the recycling service and would like to add it, all you need to do is call them at 706-278-7077. Usually, within two business days recycling bins will be delivered to your home so you can start recycling relatively quickly.
Items that can be recycled at the curb include mixed paper like newspapers, magazines, and paperboard product boxes that are clean and free of food residue. Cardboard boxes should be broken down or flattened to a size of three feet or less so they fit in the collection truck. Plastic wrap, plastic bags, and packaging materials like foam peanuts are not accepted and need to be removed from the boxes.
Also collected are aluminum and bi-metals cans; glass bottles and jars colored brown, blue, green, or clear; and plastic bottles, jars, and jugs with screw on lids. Containers that are being set aside for recycling need to be emptied then rinsed out. It’s ok to leave the labels, lids, sprayers, and pumps on the containers. Plastic bottles for motor oil, however, are not accepted.
Curbside recycling is picked up by public works on the same day as the garbage, making it an easy addition to a family’s waste management routine. On your assigned pickup day, take the garbage cart and recycling bins to the curb, leaving about three feet of space between the cart and bins. During the day, a garbage collection truck will stop by and empty the cart, then a separate curb sorter truck will stop by to pickup the items in the blue bins.
To help curbside collection truck drivers sort quicker, residents are encouraged to place all paper in one bin and containers in another. If you only have one bin, place all paper on the bottom and containers on top. Avoid over loading the bin and causing litter by breaking down and flattening all boxes and crushing plastic and aluminum containers.
When you put something in the blue bin that cannot be recycled, the curbside drivers will leave it in the bin with a sticker or label explaining why. Things that don’t belong in the bin are called contamination. For example, yogurt cups, plastic drinking cups, and plastic trays from T.V. dinners which are not accepted in Whitfield County for recycling and will be left in the bin.
After collection garbage is delivered to the Old Dixie Hwy. Landfill and Convenience Center in Whitfield County for proper disposal. The recyclables are taken to the recycling center located on the same Old Dixie Hwy. property for sorting and processing. While both garbage and recycling arrive at the same property, each is managed separately in their own designated areas. Recyclable items collected at the curb are sent to manufacturers right here in Georgia who will use those materials to make new products.
Recycling instructions are available online at the City’s website: www.cityofdalton-ga.gov. Click on Departments, Public Works, then Recycling Instructions to watch instructional videos and download the one-page recycling guide. You can also call the recycling center at 706-278-5001 if you have a question about what is recyclable. For questions regarding garbage or recycling collection, like when your pickup day is, call public works at 706-278-7077.