Plastic Recycling

When recycling plastic any plastic bottles and jars, except those that have held motor oil, can be recycled. Additionally you can include yogurt containers, plastic bucket with plastic handles only, and margarine tubs can be recycled. Other plastics should go in your trash that goes to the Landfill. If you have questions, call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685.

Natural Resource Savings From Recycling

Do you wonder if placing that material in your recycling bin is doing any good? It really is. The Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center receives an Environmental responsibility report from one of the companies we ship cardboard and newspaper through. Between October 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, Davis and Wapello County Residents and businesses saved 1,978,326 Kilowatts of electricity, 1,965 cubic yards of Landfill space, 8,284 pounds of air pollution, 3,437,910 gallons of water, 8,349 trees, and 2,716 barrels of oil. That’s a lot of savings just on the paper products that were recycled, and just in three months!! Good job Wapello and Davis Counties.

Household Hazardous Waste

The hazardous waste building does not close for the winter. If you have hazardous waste, and you haven’t had time to sort it out, make your list, and call for an appointment, you can still do that throughout the winter. If you have questions about hazardous waste, call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685. Latex paint is not hazardous waste and can be brought anytime during regular business hours Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm. One way to determine if it is latex if it isn’t displayed on the label is to look at the clean up, if it is soap and water clean up, it is latex.

35-Gallon Recycling Carts

If you have one of the  blue recycling carts it is VERY IMPORTANT to use those correctly. Please remember when placing your recycling in those carts to put the glass, plastic, tin, and aluminum in the bottom of the cart. Bag newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, paperback books and office paper in a see through bag or paper bag, small pieces of paperboard, and corrugated cardboard in another bag, and place large pieces of cardboard down along the inside of the cart or place next to the cart. It is important to use the cart correctly so that collectors can collect the material from them without too much difficulty. If you have questions about using your 35-Gallon cart, please call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685.


Do you have old medication you are trying to figure out the safest way to dispose of? Don’t rush to flush! The Take Away program will allow you to drop it off. However, if it is a controlled substance, they are not allowed to take it. If you have a controlled substance the best thing to do is mix it with cat litter or something undesirable, and dispose of it in your trash. The following can take medications from patients or patient caregivers, Hy-Vee Drugstore, Hy-Vee, North and South Ottumwa, NuCara Pharmacy, Ottumwa, Southside Drug, Ottumwa, Walgreens, Ottumwa, and Hy-Vee Clinic Pharmacy, Bloomfield.

Five Types of Recyclable Paper

According to the US EPA these are the five types of recyclable paper:

Old Corrugated Containers (OCC), also known as corrugated cardboard: Mills use old corrugated containers to make new recycled-content shipping boxes, as well as recycled paperboard for product packaging (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc.).

Mixed paper: Mixed paper is a broad category that often includes items such as discarded mail, telephone books, paperboard, magazines, and catalogs. Mills use mixed paper to produce paperboard and tissue, as a secondary fiber in the production of new paper, or as a raw material in non-paper product such as gypsum wallboard, chipboard, roofing felt, cellulose insulation, and molded pulp products such as egg cartons.

Old Newspapers(ONP): Mills primarily use old newspapers to make new recycled-content newsprint and in recycled paperboard and tissue, among other paper grades.

High Grade Deinked Paper: This grade is made of high-grade paper such as letterhead, copier paper, envelopes, and printer and converter scrap that has gone through the printing process. It must first be deinked before it can be reprocessed into high-grade paper products such as printing and writing papers or tissue.

Pulp substitutes: A high-grade paper, pulp substitutes are often shavings and clippings from converting operations at paper mills and print shops. Mills can use pulp substitutes in place of virgin materials to make back into high-grade paper products.

Ottumwa’s recycling program is not a single stream recycling program, so it is necessary to sort your paper. Pop and beer containers, gable top milk and juice cartons, bags of bags, Styrofoam, foam packaging, Kleenex, and paper towels should go in your garbage.  Paper should be in paper grocery bags or see-through plastic bags and should not have anything else in with it. Please don’t put glass, plastic, tin, or aluminum in with your paper.  Call the Recycling Center for more information at 641-683-0685.