YOUR TOWN. YOUR RULES.
City of East Lansing
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 the City of East Lansing. Reduce and reuse first, know it before you throw it when you recycle, and always reach out to the City of East Lansing when you have questions.
Wondering where to recycle? Use the search option below or reach out to City of East Lansing for questions.
City of East Lansing’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
All recyclables need to be loose. 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:
- Recyclables need to be loose 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
Food boxes, shoeboxes, tissue boxes and your typical shipping boxes are all recyclable, and it’s fine if you leave on the tape and labels. Please break down and flatten all boxes before recycling.
There are a few cardboard
noes though. A good rule to follow is this: If the cardboard container goes into the
freezer, it’s best to just throw it away. Those boxes are usually covered in a thin layer of plastic to prevent them from
Additionally, cardboard can’t have any food residue or grease stains – a greasy pizza box is not recyclable, but you can always rip off the clean top of the box and recycle that.
No greasy pizza boxes
Why all the hoopla about recycling? Recycling offers countless benefits.
- Recycling reduces the amount of garbage that goes into landfills.
- 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 pollution, including greenhouse gases.
- Recycling helps protect our wildlife habitats.
Metal cans of various sizes
Plastic jugs, containers and bottles
Office paper and folders
Keep up the good work, East Lansing!
If you still have questions about what’s recyclable and what’s not, City of East Lansing Recycling can help.
East Lansing Department of Public Works
1800 E. State Rd.
East Lansing, 48823
These rules apply to the City of East Lansing curbside and drop-off recycling programs. If you live outside this service area, you’ll want to check with your local recycling provider for your specific rules and information.