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Say hello to the Recycling Raccoon Squad

Hey, neighbor! We are the Recycling Raccoon Squad. Our mission is to help Michigan recycle better, smarter, more efficiently and more adorably. (We’ll handle that last one if you want.) To accomplish our mission, we have created a clear set of simple rules for you to follow that will help you become the best of the best at recycling.

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Recycling Raccoon Squad

Rinse and empty all plastics, glass and metal containers.

Basically, if you recycle something that’s not rinsed and empty, you could get other items dirty on the way to the recycling center. This could ruin a whole truckload of recyclables – not just yours – with the whole load ending up in a landfill. The good news is recycling right is easy! Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Empty, rinse, recycle, repeat – for all plastic, glass and metal.

Break down and flatten all cardboard.

Cardboard boxes that aren’t flat or broken down take up a lot of space in a recycling container and in the recycling collection truck. Bulky boxes create voids and air spaces, which ultimately increase the number of pickups required and lower the efficiency of the recycling center. So, the rule is: Break down and flatten all cardboard.

Don’t put your recyclables in plastic bags.

Jamming all your recyclables into a plastic grocery bag or garbage bag is not cool. Most curbside recycling programs don’t accept plastic bags – whether by themselves or full of other recyclables. Even worse, the bags can get tangled in the machines at your local recycling center. So, be sure to put your recyclables loose in your cart or bin.


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Can you spot the mistakes in these mis-recycled glass items? See answers below.
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1. Dirty containers are not recyclable. Remember to rinse and empty.

2. Lightbulbs are not accepted curbside.

3. Glass used for cooking – like Pyrex – is not accepted curbside.

Did you know that the rules of curbside recycling can vary depending on where you live? It’s true! Check your community’s page for the most updated recycling info at https://recyclingraccoons.org/localrules/. #MIRecycles

Nothing to see here. Just your average raccoon with a load of perfectly recycled, rinsed and emptied containers ready to unload in my recycling bin. #MIRecycles

Happy Mother’s Day! Say “I love you” by giving Mom a day off recycling duty. While cleaning the house and washing the dishes, take the time to properly recycle – rinse and empty all containers, check the number on plastics and keep plastic bags out of your curbside recycling.

Join the Squad!

Help Michigan become a leader in recycling again. Join the squad today. You don’t need to be a raccoon – you just need to sign up!

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