Public Works and Recycling Overview

The following is from Steve Mills, 2023 NMCA President


Visit to Public Works Department and Recycling Overview

I visited the City of Greenville Public Works facility with the Sierra Club last Thursday, November 9.  The tour of the facility and the recycling overview was led by Lynn Watkins who is the Recycling and Environmental Coordinator.  The public works facility off Fairforest Way is new and modern with all the city’s operations collocated.  There were two examples of how the city reduces costs to ensure efficient use of our tax dollars:

  1. The oil for the city truck and car fleet is tested before changing and this allows almost twice the time between oil changes than normally recommended.
  2. NAPA Auto Parts has a store on-site for fleet maintenance and they manage the replacement parts as well as the staffing of the store. This reduces parts inventory and fleet downtime.

Recycling Overview

Approximately 23% of the recycling in the blue containers is contaminated!  Do not wishcycle which means if in doubt use the city of Greenville Recycling website or just throw it in the green container.

City Website Link – Recycling in the City of Greenville | Greenville, SC – Official Website (

City App for cell phones – GVL Trash Tracker

Do’s of recycling:

  1. All plastic containers labeled 1 through 7 can be recycled but please no flowerpot containers.
    1. Includes bottles with necks such as milk, juice, shampoo, soap…
    2. Rinse first, do not crush, and leave the caps on.
  2. Clam shell (hinged or not) containers and other plastic normally from the grocery store containing vegetables and fruit.
  3. Paper or cardboard egg containers.
  4. Cardboard, paper, newspaper, junk mail.
  5. Aluminum and steel cans.
  6. Boxed drinks such as juice, broth, and soy/almond milk.
    1. Rinse first, do not crush, and leave caps on.
  7. For yard wastes, separate the leaves, and branches and limbs.
    1. The leaves are used in the landfill to facilitate composting and the branches and limbs are mulched for city residents.
    2. Consider composting the leaves to use in flower and shrubbery beds.

Don’ts of recycling:

  1. No plastic bags of any type.
    1. Take grocery bags back to the store along with Styrofoam egg cartons.
  2. No takeout boxes with wax inner coatings or food coated cardboard like a pizza box.
  3. No glass
    1. Anderson is recycling glass for now.
    2. Pickens takes the glass to the landfill.

Use the link below for a YouTube video of the Pratt Industries facility where the recycling material is taken and sorted to better understand how proper trash and recycled material sorting helps to optimize the sorting process and reduces waste as well.

Note: The city recycling centers have camera systems that read license plates to reduce the incidence of illicit dumping of trash.


Public Works and Recycling Overview