Recycling FAQ's

Detroit Recycles


Q: Why should I recycle?
   
A: The City of Detroit is working to save money and reduce pollution. Your participation in the recycling effort is needed to make this program a success!

For the Environment
Did you know that recycled aluminum uses 96% less energy than manufacturing products from virgin aluminum? Recycling plastic uses 76% less energy, paper uses 45% less (not to mention it saves countless trees!), and glass uses 21% less energy when it’s made from recycled material. Recycling also reduces harmful pollution that can cause health problems.
    
For the Economy
Every time you recycle or buy a product made from recycled material, you are supporting the economy for recycled products. If Detroit recycles more, it may attract businesses that use the recycled material to create new products, which in turn will create jobs!
   

Q: What items are accepted in Detroit’s curbside recycling program?

A: PAPER & CARDBOARD
Paper
EXAMPLES:
Newspaper; magazines; catalogues; color ad inserts; office paper; household writing paper of all types, colors, and sizes; junk mail; telephone books; envelopes; non-metallic gift wrapping paper; paper bags; card stock; brochures; postcards

Corrugated cardboard  
EXAMPLES:
appliance, pizza boxes

Boxboard
EXAMPLES:
cereal boxes, memo pad backs, frozen food boxes

Aseptic containers
EXAMPLES:
Milk cartons and juice boxes
    
METAL & GLASS
Tin, aluminum containers
EXAMPLES:
pet food cans, metal lids, food and beverage containers/cans, empty aerosol cans, coffee cans

Glass food and beverage bottles and jars
– all colors, lids are acceptable
EXAMPLES: wine bottles, jelly jars, ketchup bottles

PLASTICS #1-7
All plastic bottles and jugs marked with the “chasing arrow” symbols #1-7
EXAMPLES: plastic milk jugs, water bottles, detergent bottles, dish liquid bottles, shampoo bottles, medicine and vitamin bottles, yogurt tubs, margarine tubs, frozen concentrated juice containers, Folgers coffee containers, microwave freezer trays, berry boxes (“clamshell containers”), salad/carryout boxes.

Bulky plastics marked with the “chasing arrow” symbols #1-7
EXAMPLES: buckets (metal handle ok), kitty litter buckets, milk crates, laundry baskets, pet carriers, empty garbage cans, empty planters


Q: How do I prepare my recyclable items before putting them in the container?
   
A: Just rinse your items to make sure they are free of food debris, and remove any plastic lids. Do NOT put your recycling in plastic bags! Instead, place items directly in the recycling container.


Q: What is NOT accepted in Detroit’s curbside recycling program?
   
A: Please do NOT put these items in your recycling container:
Garbage; food; liquid; Styrofoam™; plastic bags; syringes (needles/sharps) or any medical waste; light bulbs; ceramics; paper cups, plates, napkins, tissue products, hand towels; food wrappers; batteries, motor oil, filters, paint, toxics; electronics; fabric, clothes, pillows; rubber; window blinds; diapers; PVC pipe; vinyl siding; hoses; plastic lids


Q: What if I put items in my cart that aren’t accepted in the curbside program?
   
A: You may receive a notice on your container from DPW that you have items in your cart that aren’t accepted. If you have many items that aren’t accepted, the City will not collect your recycling, and you must remove all non-recyclable items before your container will be emptied.
The City of Detroit must pay a fee for all the non-recyclable material that’s collected with the recycling. Do your part by making sure the items in your container are accepted material!


Q: I live in an area that has curbside recycling. How can I find out what day it is collected?

   
A: Find My City Services Information.


Q: I don’t have curbside recycling where I live. Can I still recycle?

   
A: YES! There are multiple places to drop off your recyclable items around the City of Detroit. Click HERE  to print this list. There is no charge for Detroit residents to use these drop-off sites.

Residents can bring their recycling free of charge to the following drop-off locations. Please note that all locations except J Fons Transfer Station are closed from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
 
Davison Yard
8221 West Davison
Tuesday – Saturday
10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. April – October
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. November – March

Southfield Yard  
12255 Southfield Service Drive
Monday – Saturday
10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. April – October
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. November – March

State Fair Yard  
19715 John R
Tuesday – Saturday
10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. April – October
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. November – March

5840 Anthon
between Cavalry and Campbell
Tuesday – Saturday
10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. April – October
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. November – March

J Fons Transfer Station
6451 E. McNichols
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(closed from 12:30-1:30p.m.)
 
Recycle Here! operates a number of mobile recycling sites throughout the city on Saturdays.
Have an item that isn’t accepted curbside? Recycle Here! locations accept Styrofoam, light bulbs, plastic bags, and batteries, cooking oil/grease & electronics also accepted. Visit recyclehere.net to learn more.

Main Location

1331 Holden Ave
Detroit, MI 48202
313-871-4000
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Q: Does everything go into container together, or do I need to separate and sort before putting my recyclables into the container?
   
A: You can put everything in the container; there’s no need to do any sorting.


Q: Can I recycle pizza boxes?
   
A: YES! Just be sure there’s no leftover pizza or cheese in the box.


Q: How do I tell which plastics are recyclable?
A: Look for the “chasing arrows” symbols for plastics #1-7:  Chasing Arrows  If you see the symbol, it’s most likely recyclable.


Q: Can I recycle Styrofoam™ in my curbside container?
   
A: No, Styrofoam™ is not accepted in the curbside program. But that doesn’t mean that Styrofoam™ is not recyclable! Bring your clean Styrofoam™ to Recycle Here! at 1331 Holden Ave.


Q: Styrofoam™sometimes has a “chasing arrow” symbol. Why isn’t it accepted?
   
A: Styrofoam™is recyclable. It just isn’t accepted in Detroit’s curbside program. You can bring Styrofoam to any Recycle Here! location for recycling. Try to reduce your usage of Styrofoam™ and you materials that are accepted at the curb!


Q: How clean do things have to be?
   
A: We ask that you rinse your materials so that there’s no food or drink residue left. There’s no need to scrub your items.


Q: Do I need to remove labels from my bottles and cans?
   
A: No, you can leave labels on.


Q: Should I leave caps and lids on, or take them off before putting them in my curbside container?
   
A: Metal lids can be left on glass bottles, but you should remove all plastic lids.


Q: Do I need to crush my cans and bottles before putting them in my container?
   
A: Crushing your bottles and cans will free up space so you can fit more in your recycling container, but it’s not necessary.


Q: Do I need to put my recyclable material in plastic bags before putting it in the container?
   
A: NO! Please do not bag your recyclable materials—place clean items directly in the container.


Q: Can I recycle my plastic bags in my curbside container?

   
A: We ask that you NOT put any plastic bags in your recycling container. Many grocery stores take back your used plastic bags; look for a receptacle at the entrance of the store. You can also bring plastic bags to any Recycle Here! location for recycling.


Q: Can I recycle aluminum foil (tin foil)?

   
A: Yes, but only CLEAN foil. Form into a ball before tossing it in your container.


Q: What if I’m not sure if something is recyclable?
   
A: Check the above list of items accepted in Detroit’s curbside program. If it’s not accepted, be sure to double check with Recycle Here! to see if you can drop it off. A good rule of thumb is “when in doubt, throw it out!”


Q: Can I recycle old electronics?

   
A: Electronics are not accepted at the curb, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t recyclable! Visit Recycle Here! at 1331 Holden Ave. on Wednesdays from 10am-6pm, or on Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Detroit residents only, please! You can also a take electronics to Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street (near the I-75 and I-94 freeways). Individuals can call (313) 923-2240 to schedule a time to bring household hazardous materials (HHW) to the facility.


Q: Can I recycle batteries?
   
A: Batteries are not accepted at the curb, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t recyclable! Visit Recycle Here!  at 1331 Holden Ave. on Wednesdays from 10am-6pm, or on Saturdays from 9am-3pm.


Q: Can I recycle wood and yard waste in my curbside container?

   
A: NO, wood and yard waste are NOT allowed in your curbside container. Yard waste is collected with your weekly trash collection April – December. To learn more about yard waste collection, click here.


Q:Can I recycle metals like iron scrap or screws/nails/metal pots and pans?
   
A: Yes! These are accepted both curbside and at all drop-off locations.


Q: What should I do if I can’t fit all of my recycling into my recycling container?
   
A: First, be sure to break down boxes and crush any large items that may be taking up lots of space. Visit the Container Services  page to find out how you can request an additional or larger container. If you have to much, you can save the items for another collection day or take to the the items to a DPW or Recycle Here! drop-off  location.


Q: Where can I bring my paint, light bulbs, chemicals, batteries and other Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?
   
A:
Poisons, solvents, heavy metals, and other toxic products should never be poured down a drain or thrown into the trash. Instead, use up toxic products completely according to the label. These items will only be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street (near the I-75 and I-94 freeways). Individuals can call (313) 923-2240 to schedule a time to bring household hazardous materials (HHW) to the facility, which is open year round Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This facility is open to Detroit residents ONLY! There is no charge!


Q: What do recycled materials get turned into?
   
A: Newspaper is remanufactured into a variety of materials such as insulation, paper tubes, newsprint, building materials, animal bedding, construction paper, egg cartons, paperboard (i.e., cereal boxes), pencils, pet litter, and packaging.
  • Magazines and catalogs are used to make paperboard (i.e., cereal boxes), and paper
  • White paper is used to make new paper, paper napkins, facial tissue, paper towels, toilet paper, and paperboard (i.e., cereal boxes).
  • PETE (#1 plastic) is used for polyester clothing, pillow and sleeping bag fill, carpeting, drainage pipes, luggage, stroller fabrics, pet beds and roofing materials.
  • HDPE (#2: hard, rigid plastic) is used to make toys, traffic cones, new bottles, flowerpots, trash cans, recycling bins, plastic lumber, can liners, lawn furniture, irrigation pipe, and drainage tiles.
  • Glass is used to make new glass containers, “glasphalt” for highway construction, decorative tiles, glass blocks, and fiberglass.
  • Aluminum cans are used to make new cans, foil, rain gutters, window frames, siding, and car parts.
  • Steel is used to make new steel products, including new cans, vehicles, oil filters, bicycles, paper clips, desks, piping, appliances, auto parts, construction beams, and other steel products.
  • Plastic bags and sacks are used to make new plastic bags.
  • Tires can be used to make retreaded tires, pavement additive and rubber asphalt, tire-derived fuel, car bumpers and fenders, door mats, carpet padding, sneaker soles, hoses, horse arenas, running tracks, playground surfaces, soil amendments for golf and sport fields, backpacks, purses, suspenders, railroad crossings and ties, traffic barricades, control devices, and safety cones.