Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

While you are trying to take care of the Earth, make sure you know what can and cannot be recycled.

Here are the things you cannot recycle in the state of Michigan.

97.9 WGRD logo
Get our free mobile app

What Are The 7 Things You Cannot Recycle In Michigan?

1. Carton containers

Mistaken for paperboard, carton containers are made of two to three things layered together.

  • paper
  • plastic
  • aluminum

Michigan's official website states that,

"Manufacturers have joined together as the “Carton Council” to increase access to carton recycling programs across the United States. Many programs in Michigan now accept carton containers, but be sure to double check before you put it in your bin."

2. Paper coffee cups


Paper cups are lined with a thin layer of wax or plastic so that the liquid does not leak through the cup.

Because of this, only certain processing facilities process paper cups. They are mostly not common.

3. Plastic bags and film packaging

Your grocery shopping bags are not designed to be processed at some facilities.

They can get tangled in the machinery and processing equipment at the recycling center.

4. EPS/Styrofoam


Click On Detroit says that,

"Many programs don’t accept EPS because of it’s limited compaction ability, light weight characteristics and bulkiness. Additionally, frequent use in the food industry presents a higher risk of contamination."

You should check if your local recycling facilities have any information on special collection days for styrofoam.


5. Bulky rigid plastics

What do bulky rigid plastics include?

  • 5-gallon buckets
  • lawn furniture
  • laundry baskets
  • crates (such as milk crates)
  • clothes hangers
  • plastic children’s toys
  • outdoor play equipment

Most Michigan recycling facilities do not process these bulky plastics.

6. Clothing and textiles


Recycling is not the way to go if you want to give away clothes.

You can donate to a local store or a charity facility.

7. Batteries

Since batteries have heavy metals that can be toxic, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and nickel, they have to be recycled properly.

You cannot recycle batteries through curbside recycling. Batteries should also not be recycled with other items. They should be separated.

Many Home Depot and Lowes stores in Michigan accept batteries but you can also drop them off at a special recycling drop-off center.

Did You Know: These Items Can't Be Recycled Curbside Here In Michigan

While almost all of the items on the list could be recycled, you can't place them in the bin at the end of your street. See which those are, here.

More From 97.9 WGRD