Can This Be Recycled?

Here’s what you can and can’t recycle in Ann Arbor’s curbside bins

For the first time in over five years, Ann Arbor has partnered with a local nonprofit, Recycle Ann Arbor, to open a new operational recycling plant for the city. 

Located at the Materials Recovery Facility at 4150 Platt Road, Recycle Ann Arbor officially opened on December 1. Their cutting-edge recycling facility uses a new and improved concept with a zero-waste ethic. 

With the hopes of minimizing contamination of the recycling stream going into the plant, Recycle Ann Arbor wants to educate residents about what is accepted and what is not. Contamination can cause dangerous equipment jams that quickly become a much larger issue for the facility and recycling process. 

Here’s what’s you can and can’t recycle in your curbside bins:

Accepted items

  • Aluminium cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Books (paperback)
  • Boxboard
  • Cardboard
  • Egg cartons (paper or plastic)
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Glass (bottles and jars that aren’t broken)
  • Magazines
  • Metal (up to 20 lbs)
  • Milk cartons (paper or plastic)
  • Newspapers
  • Paper
  • Pizza boxes
  • Plant pots (rigid plastic, not flimsy)
  • Plastic (caps, jars, jugs, tubs, bottles, buckets)
  • Steel cans (such as soup cans)
  • Tetra Pak (food & drink cartons)
  • Telephone books
  • Tin cans
  • Yard signs (paper or cardboard)

Items you cannot recycle (any of these are accepted at the Drop-Off Station of Ellsworth Road)

  • Alkaline batteries
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Audio equipment (CDs, DVDs, CD players, amplifiers, etc.)
  • Books (hardback)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Bulky plastics
  • Car batteries
  • Cell phone accessories (chargers, earbuds, cases, etc.)
  • Christmas lights
  • Clothing
  • Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs)
  • Computer supplies (monitors, keyboards, mice, etc.)
  • Electronics
  • Flat screen televisions
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
  • Hangers (wire, wood, or plastic)
  • Incandescent light bulbs (cannot be recycled, should be place in the trash)
  • LED light bulbs
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Lumber
  • Mirrors
  • Oil and oil filters
  • Paint (only latex paint is accepted at the drop-off station, oil-based and pain thinners should be brought to the Washtenaw County’s Home Toxics disposal site)
  • Plastic bags
  • Printer cartridges 
  • Propane tanks
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Shredded paper (both loose or bagged)
  • Silverware 
  • Styrofoam (any type)
  • Tires (car and truck)
  • Tissue paper (gift wrap)
  • Tools (metal)
  • Window glass/panes
  • Yard trimmings

For a complete list of items and to find out where you dispose of them, visit Recycle Ann Arbor’s A-to-Z recycling guide.

On the bottoms of plastic containers, there are numbers labeling if the item is able to be recycled in a curbside bin or not. Numbers 1, 2, and 5 can go in curbside bins while numbers 3, 4, 6, and 7 cannot. To read more about what these types of plastic are, click here. Just one number 3 (PVC) container can contaminate an entire half-ton of water bottles for recycling.

Happy recycling! ♻️