The primary city in the Midlands area of South Carolina leads the way in the region’s recycling prowess.
BackgroundColumbia (pop. 131,686), the capital of South Carolina and the largest city in the state, is leading the recycling charge in the Palmetto State. Curbside recycling service utilizing blue recycling bins is available through the city’s Solid Waste Division to an approximate 29,000 households and small commercial buildings. There is currently a high participation rate — about 85% — throughout the city, and a number of complementary drop-off programs give Columbia residents plentiful recycling options.
Materials recycledPaper Including flattened corrugated cardboard, flattened paperboard, magazines, newspapers and newspaper inserts, junk mail, office paper, envelopes (plastic windows are OK), juice/milk cartons, paper cup holders, paper bags and clean pizza boxes. Telephone books, which were not previously accepted, can now be dropped in the curbside bin as well. Plastics Including plastic bottles, plastic jugs and jars, yogurt and butter tubs, plastic trays, plastic baskets and frozen dinner trays. No plastic bags or Styrofoam accepted. Metals Including aluminum cans, steel/tin cans, metal lids (placed in cans), aluminum pie pans and empty aerosol cans. Glass Clear, brown and green glass jars, jugs and bottles are accepted.
FrequencyCurbside recycling pick-up occurs on a weekly basis. Carts must be placed curbside the night prior to pick-up, and must be returned to property by 7:30 p.m. on pick-up day.
Other programsThe City of Columbia operates two recycling drop-off centers:
- 2600 Bull St., located behind DHEC — this location accepts the same items as the curbside recycling program
- Corner of Washington and Wayne streets (at Congaree Vista) — this location accepts flattened cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, newspaper, telephone books and office paper