Curbside Recycling Service
- How can I get a tote and/or cart?
- Over a holiday, when will my recyclables be picked up?
- Do I have to pay for curbside collection service?
- What day of the week is my neighborhood served?
- What time do I need to have my tote and/or cart out for collection?
- What materials are collected curbside?
- How do I set out my recyclables?
- What areas have curbside collection service?
- Are apartments, condominiums and businesses included?
- Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about curbside service?
- How is the service paid for?
- Who is operating the service?
If you live in one of the participating communities and need a cart or totes, you can get them here. Whether you’re new to our program or need additional containers we’ll bring them to you free!
When a holiday falls on a weekday, recycling pick up will be one day later than usual for the remainder of the week, with Friday customers served on Saturday. This will always be the case with Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. It will apply to New Year’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas Day in years that they fall on a weekday. We do not observe any other holidays (i.e. Presidents Day). View the full holiday schedule here.
If you live in a single family home in a participating community, your town or township pays for the service for you.
If you live in an apartment building or condominium or are wondering about curbside recycling for a business, please call Emmet County Recycling at 231-348-0640, as the various communities have different provision for these cases.
Bay Harbor: Thursdays
Bear Creek: Thursdays or Fridays (see map or call 231-348-0640)
Harbor Springs: Tuesdays
Little Traverse: Tuesdays or Wednesdays (see map or call 231-348-0640)
Petoskey: Wednesdays or Thursdays (see map or call 231-348-0640)
For reliable service, you must have your recyclables out by 7 a.m. You may observe that your driver “always” comes much later, but many factors can cause the time of your pick up to change, for example a substitute driver, a substitute truck, and new businesses added to your route day. If you set out your tote(s) after 7 a.m., we may miss you!
You can recycle all of the following materials curbside. Please note that they need to be set out, as shown, in two separate categories: 1) Paper, Boxes and Bags and 2) Containers. If you mix the two categories of recyclables, your driver will leave your recycling for you to sort out.
PAPER, BOXES AND BAGS INCLUDE:
Note: you may set your Paper, Boxes and Bags out in either the wheeled cart or a tote.
- Newspapers and inserts
- Magazines, catalogs and books
- Office and writing paper
- Cardboard*, cereal boxes and brown paper grocery bags
- Plastic grocery and bread bags
* must be small enough to fit in a brown paper grocery bag
Note: Containers are collected in totes only.
- Plastic bottles, jugs and jars
- Plastic tubs, trays and cups
- Juice boxes, milk cartons and paper cups
- Metal cans, foil and trays
- Glass bottles and jars
There are several important factors to remember when setting out your recyclables for curbside collection:
- Keep the two categories of recyclables separate. You can do this however you prefer — in a tote and a wheled cart, two totes, a tote and a paper bag, setting a waste basket inside one tote to contain one category — whatever works for you. The categories are outlined above.
- Always set out at least your wheeled cart or one of the “Emmet County Recycling” green totes. You may use other containers, but an official “Emmet County Recycling” cart or tote is the driver’s cue that materials at the curb are recyclables for collection. If you use containers other than the green “Emmet County Recycling” cart and totes, please choose ones which no larger than our totes. Your driver lifts hundreds of totes a day and repeatedly lifting very large or deep totes can injure them.
- If you set out your recyclables in a cardboard or plastic container which might be seen as recyclable, please write “Save This Container” on it in permanent marker if you don’t want it collected.
The following communities provide curbside collection of recyclables to most* of their residents:
- Bear Creek Township
- Harbor Springs
- Little Traverse Township
- Resort Township
*Exceptions may include roads not accessible to our trucks and private roads or associations which don’t allow large trucks. Also, see the section below on apartments, condos, and businesses for exceptions in some communities.
Curbside collection was also offered to West Traverse, Littlefield, and Springvale townships, and the village of Alanson, however they chose not to participate at this time. Curbside collection is not being offered in the less densely populated areas of the county because long drives between homes would make the service inefficient and expensive.
Full details for apartment, condominium and business curbside recycling services are located here.
Call Emmet County Recycling at 231-348-0640.
The participating towns and townships pay Emmet County Recycling to provide curbside collection service. All of the participating communities found the means to cover the costs within their existing revenues, so there are not any specific fees, assessments, or taxes for this service.
What types of homes, businesses, and institutions are included is up to each community. Generally they don’t pay for larger apartment complexes or businesses, but the guidelines vary from one community to another. (Alternately, businesses and larger residential communities and businesses can contract with Emmet County Recycling directly at low annual rates. For more information, see the sections on apartments and condominiums and businesses.
Emmet County Recycling (a division of the Emmet County Department of Public Works) operates the curbside recycling program. We’re the same people who operate the County’s Drop-Off Recycling Sites and the Drop-off Center, which includes a Compost Center and Waste Transfer Station.