Recycling Primer: Where To Take Your Recyclables in the Fairfield Area

Plastic, paper, cardboard, tin, and metal scrap—they can all be recycled! (Photo by Masha Kotliarenko at

Want to recycle, but not sure what can be recycled or where to take them? We’ve got you covered with a comprehensive rundown of recycling options in Fairfield and the surrounding area.

City Recycling

In partnership with Waste Management of Iowa, the city offers curbside recycling to city residents every other week, on the same day as neighborhood trash pickup.

The city recycling program takes plastics numbered 1–7. The number is generally located on the bottom of the container. The program also takes paper, newspapers, junk mail, envelopes, phone books, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, and magazines.

Cardboard must be broken down flat so it fits in the recycling bin and cannot have any food residue. That means that the used portion of pizza boxes has to go in the trash. If you have shredded paper to recycle, it needs to be contained in a paper product such as a cereal box or paper sack.

City recycling also takes tin and aluminum cans, empty aerosol cans, and all colors of glass jars and bottles—including lids. Containers need to be rinsed out. Food residue makes it impossible to recycle an item and can contaminate an entire batch of recyclables. Oil residue is almost impossible to remove, so used cooking oil containers should be thrown away rather than recycled.

Plastic Bags

Waste Management does not have the machinery to process plastic bags, but clean plastic bags can be recycled at the front entrances of Hy-Vee, Everybody’s, and Walmart, which also takes bubble wrap and other numbered flexible plastic.

County Recycling

Those who do not have curbside pickup can bring sorted recyclables to Waste Management, 2026 Libertyville Rd,, or Connelly Sanitation, 2069 Gear Ave.

Connelly has a no-cost recycling center that accepts scrap metal, electronics, appliances, tin, shopping bags, glass, numbered plastic, paper, aluminum, and beverage cans. Connelley is not a can redemption center, so you won’t get a deposit back.

For a fee, they also take various kinds of trash for disposal, including old mattresses, wood, furniture, tires, and TVs. Prices vary, so call (641) 472-8454 for a price quote. Connelly does not accept chemicals, bricks, yard waste, or concrete.

If you want to get the deposit back for your beverage bottles and cans, Hy-Vee, Everybody’s, and Walmart will take products they sell for recycling. Again, make sure they’ve been rinsed out and are in relatively good condition.

TerraCycle: Razors, Lipstick Tubes, Snack Bags & More

Did you know that you can also recycle items like toothbrushes, batteries, shampoo bottles, and light bulbs? TerraCycle Fairfield has recycled 2,400 pounds of these items at various locations in Fairfield. Here’s the most current list of recyclables and locations:

Metal Scrap

If you’ve crushed your cans, you can take them and other metal scrap to Feinberg Metal Recycling, 2140 Vetch Blvd., Lockridge. Feinberg takes both ferrous (iron) and non-ferrous metals. Different categories of scrap metal have different pay scales. Unseparated metals will be grouped together and paid out at the ferrous rate—the lowest price category. Sorted metal will be entered into different categories and paid for accordingly. Professional scavengers report that Feinberg offers the best prices for scrap metal.

Feinberg’s is open weekdays, but often closes early on Fridays, so call (319) 696-2503 to make sure they’re open.

There is also a scrap yard in Hendrick: J & E Cernic Scrap, (641) 653-4025, 801 E 5th St., and a number of scrap yards in the Ottumwa area: including Alter Metal Recycling: 404 N Forrest Ave, (641) 684-5300; and Roseman’s Inc., 902 E. Main St, 641-683-1871, Rusch Salvage, 2612 Echo St., (641) 777-6098; and Courtney’s, 825 Hayne St.