I’ve been teased about being “green” for decades now. Even my husband occasionally has called me an environ“mental”ist, with a certain emphasis on the mental part. Over the years, I’ve found that I really haven’t minded those comments because it at least opens up a dialogue about the importance on reducing, reducing, recycling. My friends who recycle say they also get comments like those, but Phyllis Mcillwain got one of the best on her last visit to the recycling center from Mr. Ben Lee himself.

Phyllis drinks a lot of green tea, gallons and gallons of it, in fact. When she went to the recycling center to recycle all those empty gallon jugs of green tea, Ben was right there to help her unload. After surveying the large quantity of empty green tea jugs she was donating to the cause, he smiled at her and commented, “you really are trying to save the earth.” Phyllis loved the comment and shared it with me. On my last visit to the center, I was asking Ben if he recalled the incident. He grinned (as usual) and said, “Yes, she was trying to save the earth one jug at a time.”

No matter what you take to the recycling center, please make sure it is clean before you put it in the containers. There is a lot of corrugated cardboard coming in  and that’s great, but show some consideration by not taking cardboard with food scraps attached or still inside. 

Not only can you take your corrugated cardboard to the recycling center, but Ben tells me that Community Outreach Ministries also accepts corrugated cardboard.

 It can be dropped off at 320 S. Market St. in Bolivar on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m.

Clear and colored glass can still be put into the glass collection container, but please do not put ceramics in with the glass. Ceramics are not accepted. 

The Polk County Recycling Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Thursday and Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon each Saturday. The location is just east of Mo. 32 and Rt. D in Bolivar. 

They are accepting the same items as always. The complete list follows below for your convenience.

● Plastic: Plastics No. 1 and No. 2 are now being taken for recycling and no longer have to be sorted separately.  Lids for those plastics are also accepted and may be left on the bottles. 

● Aluminum: Aluminum cans need to be separated from other aluminum products such as foil, pie tins, etc. Having them already sorted will help because the beverage cans will go in a different bin than the other foil items.

● Tin cans: These are accepted, and you will be glad to know that you do not have to remove the labels if you would prefer not to.

● Glass: Glass recycling is easy, as you do not need to separate it by color.

● Cardboard: Your cardboard items do need to be flattened, but you don’t have to remove the staples. Cardboard cereal boxes and other clean boxes are fine, but no pizza boxes or other boxes with food scraps.

● Paper: Office paper, newspapers and magazines are accepted in the same bin.

● Books: Hardcover books can be bagged together, or the hardcovers may be taken off and put into the cardboard bin and the pages may be added to the paper bin. Corrugated cardboard only goes into the cardboard bin. 

● Other items that you wouldn’t necessarily think about being recycled are accepted. You may bring lawn mowers and small engines that have had their fluids drained, Christmas lights, wiring and/or electrical cords, automotive batteries, metal appliances including refrigerators, washers and dryers, freezers and metal shelving. All appliances need fluids drained prior to bringing them to the center. Freezers and refrigerators also need refrigerant pumped off ahead of time. VCRs are also accepted.

As Kermit the Frog’s song says, it’s not easy being green, but it sure is important to try, 

Happy New Year and go green!

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