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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 Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy. Reduce and reuse first, know it before you throw it when you recycle, and always reach out to SOCRRA when you have questions.

Wondering if something is recyclable or belongs in the trash? Use the search option below for all your questions.


SOCRRA’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 and paper towel wrapping

Plastic bottles, jugs and containers are recyclable – always rinse and empty to avoid getting food waste on the paper and cardboard in your cart. Smaller plastic items and things made of multiple plastic materials belong in the trash.

Plastic jugs and containers

Laundry detergent bottles

Milk jugs

Water bottles

Clean plastic takeout food containers

No plastic utensils, straws, toothbrushes

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 get tangled in the sorting equipment.
  • Recyclables need to be loose in the cart to facilitate efficient sorting at the recycling facility.

No recyclables in a plastic bag

Loose recyclables

What’s a “tangler”? Anything that jams sorting machinery at the recycling center by wrapping around the equipment discs and wheels is a tangler.

TIP: Some tanglers, like extension cords, wire hangers, wire, cords and light strings, can be recycled at the SOCRRA drop-off center, whereas items like rope, twine and hoses should be disposed of as trash.

No extension cords

No wire hangers

No rope

No light strings

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 the boxes to fit in the recycling cart.

There are a few cardboard “no”s though. Cardboard can’t have any food residue. For example, a greasy, cheesy pizza box is not recyclable, but you can rip off and recycle the clean box top.

Cereal boxes

Broken-down shipping boxes

Tissue boxes

No greasy pizza boxes

Keep up the good work, SOCRRA residents!

If you still have questions about what’s recyclable and what’s not, SOCRRA can help.

995 Coolidge Hwy, Troy, MI 48084

These rules are true of all curbside recycling for residents of Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy. If you live outside these areas, you'll want to check with your local recycling provider for your specific rules and information.

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