Recycling

All 34 of Mid Michigan Waste Authority’s member communities offer curbside recycling services to their residents, either on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you aren’t sure about your community’s recycling schedule, visit the MMWA Community Page or call MMWA at (989) 781-9555.

Recycling is easier than ever. (Really!)

MMWA’s announcement that “Recycling is easier than ever!” isn’t just a catchy slogan. Now that you no longer have to sort your recyclables, and aren’t required to use a municipal recycling bin, recycling really is just as convenient as tossing your refuse into the trash.

Ready to get started? Click a question below or scroll through for answers to all your recycling questions.

1. What kind of recycling container should I use?

MMWA encourages residents to use a 45-gallon or smaller can for their recyclables, as cans help better contain contents and keep them dry. Any rigid plastic can with handles can be transformed into a recycling container by adding a “Recyclables Only” sticker, available through MMWA or your municipal office. You may also use an 18-gallon recycling bin, available through most municipal offices.

2. Do I need to separate my recyclables?

No sorting is necessary! All of your plastic, paper, cardboard, glass and metal items can go into one container, making recycling easier and more convenient than ever.

 

3. What items are recyclable?

Acceptable materials include plastic bottles, tubs and containers labeled:

 as well as paper, cardboard, metal and glass. However, no foam products are recyclable, even if you see the #6 resin code on the item. Please consult MMWA’s 1-step recycling guide for our accepted recyclables list:

Guide to One-Step Recycling (PDF)

 

 

4. What items should NOT go in my recycling bin?

 

MMWA is pleased to offer a very comprehensive curbside recycling program, but the fact is, there are many items that should not go into your recycling container. We know people are enthusiastic about recycling and want to recycle as much as possible, but it is important to follow the list of accepted materials. If you are unsure about whether an item is accepted, please call MMWA at (989) 781-9555 for clarification instead of being a “wishful recycler.”

 

Remember, only #1, #2, and #4 – #7 plastics are accepted. If you do not see a number in chasing arrows on your plastic item, it is not recyclable through the curbside program. This is not a complete list of prohibited items, but some of the most common non-recyclables we see in recycling containers include:

 

  • #3 plastics
  • Batteries
  • Blue, black or frosted glass
  • Candy wrappers
  • Cassette tapes
  • Ceramics
  • Clothing/fabric
  • Construction materials
  • Electronics
  • Foam products (including egg cartons, packing materials and food containers)
  • Hardcover books
  • Laundry soap boxes
  • Light bulbs
  • Mirrors
  • Motor oil or cooking oil bottles
  • Needles/sharps
  • Paper napkins, tissues or paper towel
  • Pet food bags and feed sacks
  • Pizza boxes – greasy (cut off lid & recycle if clean)
  • Plastic/cling wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic straws and utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Potato chip and cookie bags
  • Propane and helium tanks
  • VCR and VHS cartridges
  • Waxed paper cups
  • Windows
  • Wood

 

5. How should I prepare my recycling?

 

Plastic, metal, and glass containers should be emptied and rinsed. Please remove all plastic caps/lids and place in trash, not recycling. Metal lids may be placed in your recycling container. Cardboard should be broken down and placed in or under your recycling bin or next to your recycling can, and should be no larger than 3’x3’ in size.

6. Why is there an orange sticker on my recycling container?

If you see an orange sticker, it probably means you put non-recyclables inside your container or something was improperly prepared. If the reason is not clear on the sticker, please call MMWA at (989) 781-9555 for clarification.

7. It’s a windy day. Can I put my recyclables out in plastic bags?

Plastic bags cannot be recycled, and should not be used to hold your recyclables. The driver will not collect recyclables in plastic bags. If you want to bag materials inside your can or bin, please use a paper grocery bag instead, but the best way to prevent blowing recyclables is to use a 45-gallon or smaller can instead of a recycling bin.

8. I live in a large apartment complex. How do I start recycling?

Residents in apartment complexes are not eligible for MMWA’s curbside recycling program.  You should contact your property management office to inquire about recycling through their licensed hauler. You may also take your recyclables to the Waste Management Recycle America facility – see below for details.

9. I have extra recycling this week. Is there a local drop-off center?

Residents may take recyclable materials to Waste Management Recycle America, 1957 Findley St, Saginaw. The center is also open to businesses, churches, nonprofit organizations, and schools.

Recycle America accepts all materials included in the Mid Michigan Waste Authority recycling program including glass, paper, metal and plastics #1, #2, and #4 – #7. Used motor oil is not accepted at the Recycle America facility. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4:30 pm. For other information about the public recycling drop-off center, please call (989) 754-6511.

10. Where do my recyclables go once they are collected at the curb?

When recyclables are picked up from your home they are transported to a MRF (materials recovery facility) where they are sorted both by workers and high-technology processing equipment. The materials are prepared for markets and shipped to various paper mills and plastic, glass, or aluminum plants throughout the state.

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