It’s easier than ever to recycle right! If the information on this page doesn’t answer your questions, please call 231-943-8088, email us, Chat Live with our staff or visit the Recycling Resources page. We also encourage you to enroll in our free Recycling University—take a behind-the-scenes tour of our Traverse City recycling facility, the largest in Michigan north of Grand Rapids.
PREPARE YOUR RECYCLABLES
Clean—give them a quick rinse
Empty—do not place one recyclable inside another, they need to be separate in order to go through the sorting process correctly
Loose—do not put recyclables in bags, place them loose inside the recycling bin
Food-Free—remove ALL food
Caps On—labels are okay, too
👍 Materials WE RECYCLE
Aerosol Cans—must be empty
Aseptic Cartons—liquid food packaging
Bulky Plastic & Toys—kids toys, garden plastics, baskets, pails, buckets
Cardboard—flattened and dry
Cartons—milk, juice, soy, drink boxes
Freezer Paperboard—ice cream and frozen-food containers
Glass Containers—all colors
Metal & Aluminum—cans, foil, trays
Paper—newspaper, office paper, magazines, phone books, brown paper bags
Pizza Boxes—no pizza! cut out the greasy circle if you can
Plastic Containers—all types, even unmarked, clam shell containers
Plastic Film—grocery bags, bread bags, kitchen shrink wrap, Visqueen
Small Appliances—including toaster ovens
Styrofoam—like egg cartons
👎 Materials WE CANNOT RECYCLE
We cannot accept the following materials, and some items like lithium batteries are dangerous to the recycling facility and our employees. In Grand Traverse County, visit RecycleSmart for locations that accept these materials, or check the Michigan Recycling Directory.
Batteries—batteries of all types are not accepted; lithium batteries are extremely dangerous in recycling centers and recycling and garbage trucks
CDs & DVDs
Chain, Hoses, Rope, Tarps—even though they may be made of metal or other recyclable materials, long items like chains and hoses wrap around our metering bin and shut down the entire facility until someone crawls in and pulls them out!
Diapers—diapers are not recyclable
Fluids—fluids are not accepted, including automotive and cleaning
Foamed Products—packing peanuts, molded styrofoam, foam wrap
Glass—mirrors, tv/monitor glass, window glass
Light Bulbs—fluorescent, tubes, CFLs, LEDs, any type
Hazardous Waste & Solvents
Marine Shrink Wrap
Paint—latex and oil-based paints and stains
Recycling right helps keep Northern Michigan green and provides Michigan manufacturers and mills with the high-quality recycled materials they need to make recycled products. We welcome you to take a behind-the-scenes tour of our recycling facility and learn everything there is to know about recycling in our area, including:
Small Items Don’t Make It
Our system shakes out items 2” or smaller, so things like dental picks that are smaller than a credit card have to go in the trash bin.
Know It Before You Throw It
Learn about Wishful Recycling, and why the saying goes: When in doubt, throw it out.