Battle Creek

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City of Battle Creek

We’ve pawed our way through recycling bins all over the state, and we’ve learned that the rules of recycling differ from one community to the next. That’s why we’re here to talk to you about YOUR rules – the rules of recycling for neighbors in the City of Battle Creek. Reduce and reuse first, know it before you throw it when you recycle, and always reach out to the City of Battle Creek or Republic Services at (269) 216-8008 or when you have questions.

BATTLE CREEK’S Essential Rules to Recycling Perfection

The plastic bags and flexible plastics shown below are recyclable locally though – many grocery stores accept clean and dry bags and wraps.

What’s NEVER recyclable are things like potato chip bags and frozen food bags – just throw those out. They often contain multiple types and layers of plastic, making them impossible to recycle.

TIP: Reuse your smaller plastic bags as trash can liners or to pick up pet waste.

No plastic bags

No bread bags

No plastic sandwich baggies

No air pillows used in packaging

No plastic shipping envelopes

No bathroom tissue & paper towel wrapping

Plastic food and drink containers are recyclable – always rinse and empty to avoid getting food or other residue on the paper and cardboard in your cart. Detergent containers are also OK to recycle curbside in Battle Creek.

Smaller plastic items and things made of multiple plastic materials belong in the trash. Plastic items like toys or flower pots don’t belong in your curbside recycling. Look for a place to donate them or throw them away.

Plastic jugs and containers

Laundry detergent bottles

Milk jugs

Water bottles

No Plastic Flower Pots

No plastic utensils, straws, toothbrushes

No Plastic Toys

Recyclables need to be loose in the cart. We know it’s tempting to keep things orderly by putting all your recyclables in plastic (or paper) bags – but it’s a bad idea. Here’s why:

  • Plastic bags are not recyclable curbside (they get tangled in the machines).
  • Recyclables need to be loose in the cart for sorting at the facility.
  • Bagged items often get thrown out since facilities can’t safely determine what’s inside without risk to their employees.

No recyclables in a plastic bag

Loose recyclables

What’s a “tangler”? Anything that jams sorting machinery at the recycling center by wrapping around the equipment discs and wheels is a tangler.

TIP: Some of these items can be recycled at special drop-off locations like hardware stores or seasonal collection events.

No extension cords

No wire hangers

No rope

No light strings

No plastic hangers

Keep up the good work, BATTLE CREEK!

If you still have questions about what’s recyclable and what’s not, the city of Battle Creek or Republic Services can help.

City of Battle Creek
150 S. Kendall St.
Battle Creek, MI 49037
(269) 216-8008

These rules are true of all curbside recycling for neighbors in the City of Battle Creek. If you live outside the city, you'll want to check with your local recycling provider for your specific rules and information. Find additional, Calhoun County-wide events at

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