33 of Mid Michigan Waste Authority’s 34 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.


Residents can include cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper and boxes along with plastic bottles, jars, and tubs in your home recycling. Reduce your trash when you combine only these items in your curbside recycling.

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, and metal items can go into one container, making recycling easier and more convenient than ever.

3. What items are recyclable?

Mid Michigan Waste Authority is pleased to announce its recent partnership with American Waste, Inc. as our new recyclables processor. Residents in MMWA’s 34 member communities will once again be able to include glass items and plastics #4 – #7, excluding foam products, in their residential curbside recycling. This is in addition to clean and dry plastics #1-#2, cardboard, mixed paper and steel and aluminum cans. Residents are asked to continue focusing on reducing contamination by ensuring that only these items are placed in their curbside set out. Other items such as plastic bags, foam products and tanglers, like hangers and cords, should not be placed in your curbside recycling container.

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

MMWA is pleased to offer a 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.”   This is not a complete list of prohibited items, but some of the most common non-recyclables we see in recycling containers include:

  • plastics #3
  • 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
  • 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 and metal containers should be emptied and rinsed. Plastic caps/lids should be left on the container when placing the item in your recycling bin or simply placed in your trash. Do not place loose caps/lids in your 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. The best way to prevent blowing recyclables is to use a 45-gallon or smaller can instead of a recycling bin or to hold your recycling until your next service day.

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. 

9. I have biweekly recycling. Where can I find my recycling schedule?

Visit your community’s page on the MMWA website to see your collection calendar. You can also download a 2021 recycling calendar. If you live in the City of Saginaw, visit to find your recycling week and download the correct calendar.