YOUR TOWN. YOUR RULES.
City of Kalamazoo
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 Kalamazoo. Reduce and reuse first, know it before you throw it when you recycle, and always reach out to the city of Kalamazoo when you have questions.
Wondering if something is recyclable or belongs in the trash? Or when your pick-up date is? Use the buttons below for all your Kalamazoo recycling questions.
KALAMAZOO’S Essential Rules to Recycling Perfection
The plastic bags and flexible plastics shown below are not recyclable curbside – but 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
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
Basically, if you recycle something that has not been rinsed and emptied, you risk contaminating the entire truckload of recyclables. Which usually means all of your recycling (and all of your neighbor’s) ends up in a landfill. The good news is it’s easy to do it right. Keep it simple. Keep it clean.
Clean metal cans
Clean aluminum foil
Clean foil pans
Clean plastic jugs and bottles
No plastic food containers with food inside
No metal cans with food inside
We just can’t get enough paper. So, if you have paper, keep it clean and dry and bring it on.
BUT WAIT! Do not recycle paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins and tissues. They’re not recyclable curbside even if they’re brand-new.
Stack of papers and folders
Paper envelopes with plastic windows
No paper towels
No paper plates
Keep up the good work, Kalamazoo!
If you still have questions about what’s recyclable and what’s not, the City of Kalamazoo can help.
Kalamazoo Public Services
415 E. Stockbridge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
These rules are true of all curbside recycling for residents of the City of Kalamazoo. If you live outside the city, you'll want to check with your local recycling provider for your specific rules and information.