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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.

Test Your Knowledge

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What happens to plastic after it’s recycled?

The Recycling Raccoon Squad – a highly motivated band of masked recycling experts who are going to help Michigan recycle better. Meet your squad…

Happy National Tell a Joke Day! Take a crack at this one: What do you call a bike built with old parts? … A recycle. #RecyclingRaccoons #MIRecycles

Show those contaminants who’s boss and keep them out of your recycling bin! Whether it’s a metal can or a sheet of aluminum foil, it’s important to recycle them only if they’re free of contaminants. #KnowItBeforeYouThrowIt #MIRecycles

What’s up, humans? Precious Metale present and ready to rock your recycling world! When I’m not touring Michigan teaching legendary recycling tips, you can find me rockin’ out on my tin can drum set or headbanging to my favorite band: The Trashmen. #RecyclingRaccoons #MIRecycles

My job is so hard. I have to eat food out of containers that recyclers forget to clean all day. If only humans would remember to rinse and empty their recyclables. As you can see, I really hate yogurt … #RecyclingRaccoons

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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