Walton County offers tips on getting into recycling

Apr 11, 2024 | Businesses, Communities, DeFuniak Springs, Events, Freeport, Walton & Beyond

Image of woman recycling

When you recycle, you are making the choice to help your community and create a healthier environment for generations to come.

Billy McKee, director of environmental services for Walton County, emphasizes the importance of recycling. “When you recycle a plastic bottle,” he explains, “you’re eliminating the chance that it gets thrown out as litter, which can end up in our local water bodies.” The county makes it convenient to recycle by providing resident drop-off centers.

Consider when drinking from your soda can that aluminum is a stainable metal that can be recycled over and over again, saving as much as 95% of the energy necessary to make a can from virgin aluminum. McKee says that some materials have a one-to-one return when recycled. “One aluminum can is able to be recycled into one can, same with cardboard and paper,” he adds. “Plastic is not one for one. There’s some virgin plastic mixed in with recycled material.”

Recycle Baled

McKee adds that contaminated materials must unfortunately be discarded. The extra care you take to rinse containers ensures that they are able to be recycled. “A tiny bit of grease or other contamination is OK, but it’s better to rinse all containers to ensure they don’t get discarded.” 

If you wonder what happens to the materials you’ve lovingly rinsed and dropped off, McKee says the next stop is a material recovery facility, where the materials are sorted and separated, some by machines and some by people. Then they are baled and stored for transport to the recycling entity. 

Future plans for Walton County include curbside recycling. “We’re working on setting up a system whereby a container similar to your garbage bin can be filled with recyclable materials and picked up at your curbside,” McKee says. 

Recycle sorting by workforce

Walton County Recycling

Recycles the following materials:

  • Plastics – #1 and #2 –  Water bottles, milk jugs, detergent bottles, etc.
  • No plastic bags or other plastic recyclables can be received.
  • Aluminum cans
  • Metal (All Types)
  • Paper (Newspaper, magazines, telephone books, etc.)
  • Paperboard (boxes, tubes, cans, etc.)
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Tires (For a small fee)
  • Used Oil
  • White Goods – Appliances (Stoves, refrigerators, freezers, etc.)
Image of a bird using a plastic bottle as a bird bath as a way to recycle and reuse.

Here are some ways the county makes it easy for you to participate in their recycling efforts:

Residential Drop-Off Center

All the above listed items can be brought to the Walton County Landfill (1118 Institution Road, DeFuniak Springs) for recycling during normal business hours.

Recycling Trailers

  1. Cardboard Only Trailers – Only clean cardboard that has been broken down and flattened out.
  2. Regular Recycle Trailers – Only plastic bottles, aluminum drink cans, paper (newspaper, phone books) can be placed in any bin with available space. It is okay to mix if necessary.
  3. Recycle Trailers with Cardboard Bin – Plastic bottles, aluminum drink cans, paper (newspaper, phone books) can be placed in any bin with available space. It is okay to mix these items if necessary. Cardboard bins are also provided on these trailers for clean cardboard only that has been broken down and flattened out.

Please note:

  • No glass is being accepted as a recyclable, therefore it should be discarded in your household waste. Please do not place it in the recycle trailers or leave it on the ground at the recycle trailer locations.
  • Upon arrival at the Landfill, the materials are hand sorted by an inmate work crew so mixing plastic with aluminum or paper when necessary is okay. It is also very important that no household waste is placed in the recycle trailers. It contaminates the load rendering it non-recyclable and it must be thrown away.
  • Please do not put any other materials in the trailers as it takes up space that could be used for things that can be recycled.
  • Please do not place materials on the ground around the trailers. At each of the 20 locations the driver has to take the time to clean up the area which could lead to delays in exchanging full recycling trailers with empty ones.
Used Motor Oil

Used Motor Oil Stations

There are four county owned sites where oil can be deposited for recycling.

DeFuniak Springs
Woodyard Rd – 117 Montgomery Circle (adjacent to the fuel tanks)

Walton County Landfill – 1118 Institution Rd, DeFuniak Springs

Paxton Fire Station – 22120 US Hwy 331N, Paxton (open 24/7)

Santa Rosa Beach
District 5 Road Department – 142 Community Way, Santa Rosa Beach (open M-T 6:00 am – 4:30 pm)

Additional Non-County Owned Locations
The following auto parts stores will also accept used motor oil for recycling. The limit is five gallons for each oil change for Walton County residents.

O’Reilly Auto Parts – DeFuniak Springs
AutoZone – DeFuniak Springs
Advanced Auto Parts – DeFuniak Springs and Freeport

Make plans for this family-friendly, free event and learn lots of cool things to protect our environment and Community:

Event flyer


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