It's Easy Being Green: How to Recycle Almost Everything in Your Home
Apr 04, 2019 02:19PM
Currently, Michigan has a recycling rate of 15 percent, one of the lowest in the nation. According to a 2016 report by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and Grand Valley State University, most material being disposed of in landfills can be easily recycled and totals nearly $56 million in economic value and 370 jobs. We've put together a guide on how to recycle almost everything in your home so you can know exactly what to put in your curbside recycle bin and what to do with everything else in between.
Clean metal objects such as tin cans, aerosol cans and tin foil and license plates can be placed in your city recycling bin.
Ammunition, Explosives or Fireworks
Dispose of ammunition, explosives and fireworks at the Kent County Sheriff's Department.
Allendale True Value, Batteries Unlimited, Kent County Department of Public Works and your local library accepts rechargeable batteries. Grand Rapids Iron and Metal, A-1 Electric and Advanced Autoparts stores will accept car batteries for recycling. Hearing aids and hearing aid batteries may be recycled through Lions Hearing & Speech Improvement Program, Starkey Hearing Foundation and Quota International – Hear for Good Program. Advanced Technology Recycling (ATR), Batteries Unlimited, and Comprenew accept cell phone batteries.
Paperback books (including phone books) may be reycled in your curbside container. For hardcover books, consider donating to the Grand Rapids Public Library Friends of the Library program or the Kent District Library.
Building and Painting Supplies
Oil-based paint, stain and lacquer, adhesive, caulking and glue, deck, patio and chimney cleaner, furniture stripper, paint stripper and remover, solvent cleaning fluid, roof coating, sealant, thinner and turpentine may be disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Works' SafeChem program. Click here for information on drop-off and collection days
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital offers car seat recycling at a number of locations at periodic days and times (appointments are required). Click here for more information.
Flaten pizza boxes, moving boxes and packaging boxes before placing in your curbside recycling bin.
Rinsed our creamer cartons, juice boxes, soy milk, almond milk, wine boxes, boxed water, juice cartons, soup and broth boxes, milk cartons and Tetra Pak cartons can all be placed in your curbside recycling bin. To recycle the cap, put it back on the carton before placing in the bin.
FIBR Carpet Recycling accepts all types of carpet tiles and offers free carpet reclamation services for bulk recycling projects.
Laundry bleach, degreaser, spot remover, drain cleaner, lye, oven cleaner, polish, wax, toilet & drain cleaner, tub, tile, shower cleaner, wood and metal cleaners and polish,ammonia and other household cleaners may be disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Works' SafeChem program. Click here for information on drop-off and collection days.
Clothing and Textiles
In the Image, St. Vincent DePaul, Public Thread, North Kent Community Services, Salvation Army of West Michigan and Northern Indiana, and Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids accepts donations of gently used clothing.
Many beauty brands offer recycling programs. Garnier and Origins accept packaging and containers from any brand for recycling. MAC, Lush and Kiehls each offer various reward programs for returning their packaging and empty containers for recycling.
Diesel fuel, gas/oil mix or gasoline, home heating oil, kerosene, lighters, lighter fluid, antifreeze/engine coolant, small, refillable propane tanks, white gas and other flammable products may be disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Works' SafeChem program. Click here for information on drop-off and collection days.
Clean bottles can be placed in your city recycling bin.
Glass Windows and Doors
Habitat for Humanity accepts gently used windows and doors.
Cascade Engineering acceps used sunglasses, glasses or bifocals.
Insect spray, flea repellent and shampoo, houseplant fertilizer, moth repellent, mouse and rat poisons and baits and other pesticides can disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Works' SafeChem program. Click here for information on drop-off and collection days.
Lawn and Garden Products
Fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, pesticide, wood preservative, ant dust, mosquito spray, and other lawn and garden products may be disposed of through the Kent County Department of Public Works' SafeChem program. Click here for information on drop-off and collection days.
If the mattress you would like to dispose of is in decent condition, consider donating it to a second-hand store, such as Salvation Army of West Michigan and Northern Indiana or Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids.
Papers, envelopes, paper bags, magazines, cereal & cracker boxes, phone books, soft cover books, newspapers, paper egg cartons, paper towel tubes & shredded paper in a tied, clear plastic bag can be placed in your curbside recycling bin.
To recycle plastic shopping bags in your curbside bin, make sure bags are clean and dry and put all bags inside one bag and tie it shut.
Crayons may be recycled through The Crayon Initiative. For information on shipping old crayons or starting your own collection site, click here. Crayola Colorful Marker Recycling accepts Crayola brand markers for recycling. Click here for more information.
Donate your gently used shoes to a second-hand store, such as Salvation Army of West Michigan and Northern Indiana, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids or Mel Trotter Ministries. Additionally, recycle your old running shoes at a Gazelle Sports location.
Six-pack rings are not accepted in curbside recycling. Ring Leader, a national recycling program, accepts six-pack rings. Click here to sign up for a ring leader kit.
To recycle your smoke detector, contact the manufacturer.
Donate your used sports equipment to a second-hand store such as Salvation Army of West Michigan and Northern Indiana, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, Bethany's Thrift Stores or Play It Again Sports.
Holidayleds.com has a free mail-in recycling program. Once your package is sent, the company will send you a coupon for 15 percent off their inventory.
Arvron accepts non-food, clean, block style Styrofoam. Michigan Foam accepts non-food, clean, dry, white-beaded style Styrofoam. Sealed Air will take bubble wrap, air pillow packaging, Instapak foam packaging and polyethylene foam packaging. Harbor Foam will take clean, white styrofoam, but not packing peanuts.
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Toothbrushes and toothpaste can be recycled through the Colgate Care Recycling Program, a partnership between TerraCycle and Colgate. For information how to ship your used items, click here.