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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 residents of Bay City. Reduce and reuse first, know it before you throw it when you recycle, and always reach out to Bay City Recycles at when you have questions.

Wondering if something is recyclable or belongs in the trash? Use the search option below for all your questions.


Bay City’s Essential Rules to Recycling Perfection

The plastic bags and flexible plastics shown below are recyclable at the Bay City Recycles Drop-Off Center on Water St. – schedule an appointment today. Also 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 and paper towel wrapping

Smaller plastic items and things made of multiple plastic materials belong in the trash.

Plastic bottles, jugs and containers are recyclable – always rinse and empty to avoid getting food or other residue on the paper and cardboard in your cart.

No plastic utensils, straws, toothbrushes

Plastic jugs and containers

Water bottles

Clean plastic takeout food containers

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. Research local solutions to find out where.

No extension cords

No wire hangers

No rope

No light strings

The technology to recycle foam does exist, but the material is usually collected at a special location. The good news is you can take it to the Bay City Recycles Drop-off Center on Water Street. Schedule an appointment today and check out what other materials you can drop off at the facility.

The Great Lakes Bay Region is home to a couple of other drop-off locations – check with Tuscola County Recycling and Midland Recyclers about dropping off foam at their facilities.

No foam takeout food container/s

No foam beverage cups

No foam packaging
(the kind of hard foam that goes around items inside a box)

Why all the hoopla about recycling? Well, there are countless benefits to recycling.

  • Recycling reduces the amount of garbage that goes into landfills – which helps protect our environment and natural resources.
  • Recycling is great for the economy – locally and statewide. It provides jobs and creates opportunities for businesses.
  • Reusing materials we’ve already created helps conserve natural resources.
  • Recycling reduces water pollution.
  • Recycling helps protect our wildlife habitats.

Flattened cardboard

Metal cans of various sizes

Plastic jugs, containers and bottles

Office papers and folders


Junk mail

Keep up the good work,
Bay City!

If you still have questions about what’s recyclable and what’s not, Bay City Recycles can help.

Bay City Recycles
301 Washington Ave., Bay City, MI 48708

These rules are true of all curbside recycling for residents of the City of Bay City. If you live outside this area, you’ll want to check with your local recycling provider for your specific rules and information.

Learn More

Bay City waterfront structure

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