Garbage In, Recycling Out?

Stephens County: Free “bulky item” disposal on Amnesty Day; Recycling at Convenience Sites to be trashed beginning April 1

As of April 1, recyclables will no longer be collected and processed separately at Stephens County Convenience Sites.

According to a press release received this afternoon by ConnectLocal, a severe rise in the expenses associated with recyclables has prompted county officials to change current Convenience Site policies.

“Due to the significant increase in costs to haul and process recyclables, Stephens County Government will no longer process recyclables separately at the convenience centers beginning April 1,” County Adminstrator Phyllis Ayers said. “The haul rate has increased 140 percent As an actual comparison for one month, 20 hauls at the old rate is $3,000.00 compared to the new rate of $7,200.00.”

Until April 1, citizens will still be able to place accepted items in the recycling bins located at the convenience sites. Accepted items include metal cans, plastic bottles and containers, paper, and cardboard/paperboard).

After April 1, citizens can continue to dispose of these items at convenience sites, but they will not be collected in dedicated bins, nor will they be sent for recycling; they will be placed into the compactors and processed with all other ‘household sold waste” accepted at convenience sites. Convenience sites are limited to drop off by Stephens County residents only, and each person is allowed to dispose of up to ten 30-gallon bags per day.

Bulky items, which are not classified as “household solid waste,” must be taken to the drop off center at the Road Department, 1597 Scenic Drive. The Bulky Item Drop Off Site is open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays, and closed on weekends. The fee for disposal is $15 per truckload.

However, at the March 10 Stephens County Board of Commissioner meeting, commissioners unanimously approved the 2020 Amnesty Day, to be held on April 4.

Bulky items, on that day, will be accepted at the Scenic Drive site, and the $15 fee will be waived. Tires, liquid items and other items not normally accepted at the Bulky Drop Off site, will not be accepted on Amnesty Day. Household trash will also not be accepted at the Bulky Drop Off Site, and will need to be taken to a Convenience Site. Only residents of Toccoa/Stephens County are allowed to take advantage of Amnesty Day. Those who own property within the county, but are from out of state or out of county and do not have Stephens County license tags on their vehicle, will need to bring a tax bill with them.


On April 1, 2015, the county discontinued the recycling program at all county Convenience Sites. Prior to March 2015, separate bins were available at convenience sites for citizens to discard of recyclables, separate from household garbage. The recyclables were collected and transported to the City of Toccoa to combine with recyclables from city residents. The County received no revenue for the recyclables.

Later that year, in September, the county re-instated the recycling program, this time switching to a “single stream” recycling system, where all recyclables were deposited by the citizens into a universal recycling bin at each convenience site, requiring no separation of recyclables such as glass, paper and plastic. Recyclables were sorted after collection and delivery to a recycler.

Convenience Center Locations and Hours

County Farm Road 79 County Farm Road Off Prather Bridge Road, behind the new Jail and Animal Shelter Tuesday: 7-10 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. Thursday: 7-10 a.m. and 1-7 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

N Hicks Rd 1928 N Hicks Road Off Nub Garland Road Tuesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. until noon and 2-5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. unil noon Closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday:

Tower Road 211 North Yow Mill Road Off Brookhaven Circle, between North Yow Mill and Tower Roads near Hayes Road Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 7-10 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. until noon Closed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday

White Pines 746 White Pines Road Near Stephens County High School, off Hwy. 17, Big A Road Monday: 8-11 a.m. and 1-7 p.m Tuesday-Friday: 8-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m Saturday: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Closed Sunday

Wolf Pit 1695 Wolf Pit Road Off Hwy. 145, near Stephens County Cannery Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Closed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday


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