Recycling Basics


2018-2019 Collection Schedule Available

The 2018-2019 Solid Waste/Recycling Collection schedule is now available.  You can download your schedule in the File Downloads section on the right hand side of this page.  If you have any questions, please contact the Spencer Transfer Station at (712) 580-7270.



Tagged Bags of Grass and Leaves Will Be Picked Up On Fridays of Each Week From Now On. Residents Will Need Call Into The Transfer Station To Be Picked Up - Prior To Each Friday.

Phone 580-7270


The types of plastics which are recyclable have expanded greatly in recent years. Basically, plastics which are labeled #1 through #7 are recyclable in Spencer. Look for the logo on the package. It helps if you can crush the plastic down so that more items can be placed in the recycling container.Any plastic container (both clear & colored) with #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 & #7 imprinted inside the recycling logo on the container.This includes:

  • Plastic milk jugs
  • The plastic container of your TV dinner
  • Plastic water bottles and fruit drink bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Laundry bottles
  • Dish washing liquid containers
  • Plastic sacks (When you buy something, recycle the bag. Just keep the plastic sacks together in one of your plastic bags. You can also include bread wrappers, Saran Wrap, the plastic wrapper around your newspaper and dry cleaning bags.)
  • Etc
Styrofoam (including #7 Poly Styrene), Fast Food Containers, Rigid Plastics and Disposable Diapers can NOT be recycled at this time.


Paper items includes:

  • Newspapers/Newsprint
  • Coupon inserts
  • Special advertising sections
  • Magazines
  • Brown paper shopping bags
  • White ledger paper
  • Envelopes - even those with plastic 'windows' can be recycled now!
  • Computer paper
  • Phone books* - Rip Pages & Covers Off For Recycling. Throw Glued End Away In Garbage
  • Colored paper
  • Shredded paper
  • Envelopes with gum, labels or plastic windows
  • Books* - Rip Pages & Covers Off For Recycling. Throw Glued End Away In Garbage
Sorry, waxed paper, waxed cardboard and laminated sheets are not accepted. Also, no toilet paper, paper towels or facial tissues.


Spencer Rotary Accepts Used Books For Their Yearly Book Sale. Books Can Be Dropped Off At The Spencer Transfer Station, 3101 W. 18th Street.

Goodwill Industries, 1108 4th Ave S.W., Accepts Used Books and Magazines.


If it's cardboard - it can likely be recycled.Some examples include:

  • Boxes
  • The box your TV dinner came in
  • Pizza Boxes (if they don't have too much grease in them!)
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Pop and Beer Boxes
  • Facial tissue boxes
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Shoe boxes

Tin Cans & Aluminum

"Tin" items includes:

  • Tin cans from food - any tin container
  • If you don't take your redeemable cans back to get your 5-cent deposit, place them them in the recycling bin.
  • Aerosol cans
  • Foil wrap, pie tins/plates, aluminum pans etc.


Those individuals with pieces of metal (such as bicycles, grills, metal shelving/frames, old lawn mowers, etc.) may take them to the city's Transfer Station.

Fluorescent light bulbs:

The new, energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs are not appropriate for recycling with your weekly city pickup.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the Transfer Station accepts these unbroken fluorescent tubes/bulb/lamps. Please call (712) 580-7270 for an appointment.

Oil, Batteries

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the City of Spencer Transfer Station (located at 3101 W. 18th St.) accepts vehicle batteries, oil or oil filters. There is no charge for residents. Batteries picked up at curbside are $6 each. Stickers may be purchased for curbside pickup at Spencer City Hall, 418 Second Ave. West.

Rechargeable and button batteries may be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the Transfer Station

Oil, Filters and Vehicle Batteries.:
The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the Transfer Station accepts oil, oil filters and batteries. Hours of operation of the facility (located at 401 10th Ave. S.E.) are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.The following businesses will accept the specific items during the hours listed.

Dyno Oil: Oil, no filters, no batteries
216 E. Milwaukee, 262-2921
M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

H & N Chevrolet:
Oil, oil filters, no batteries
713 Grand Ave., 262-3230
M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon

Oil, no filters, no batteries
3809 Fourth Ave. W., 262-7000
M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon


There is a charge on all tires. For tires delivered to the Transfer Station (located at 3101 W. 18th St.) charges apply depending on size, call 580-7270.

Those delivering tires are to stop at the main building at the Transfer Station to pay for the tires.

Paint and Paint Cans

Take paint to the the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at the Transfer Station. Empty paint cans may be disposed of with your garbage as long as the lid is removed and the can has been allowed to dry out. Here's a tip: Mix leftover latex paint with kitty litter or sawdust; or, spread on plastic to dry. Another option: do you know anyone who could use your leftover paint?)


Glass is not to be included in your weekly recycling. Colored and clear glass can be taken to the Transfer Station.

Residential Medical Waste

Residential medical waste (Please dispose of them with great care. This includes needles, syringes, scalpels, urine sample bottles, donated blood bottles.) FREE Sharps containers may be obtained from City Hall by Spencer residents. This is provided to ensure workers' safety.

Hazardous Materials

Household hazardous materials can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection center. Questions call (712) 580-7277.

Rigid Plastics

Rigid plastics such as those used in some toys are NOT recyclable in our area.

Grass/Leaves/Brush Disposal

Grass, leaves and brush will be picked up in the city of Spencer on Fridays. Grass and leaves require a $.75 sticker on each bag. (Please place the sticker in a visible location for the driver to see.) Brush must be limited to 2-feet around and cut in 4-feet lengths (maximum.) Each bundle requires a $.75 sticker. Stickers may be purchased at City Hall, Hy-Vee and Spencer Municipal Utilities. Call 580-7270 by 5:00 on Thursday.

Yard waste and tree branches from within the corporate limits of Spencer may be taken to the Grass and Leaf Site located north of W. 18th St. and 18th Ave. West. Please follow the signs upon entering the site.