Earth Day 2022: Dos & Don’ts of Recycling with Emmet County Recycling

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announced the state increased its recycling rate.

Before 2019, Michigan was estimated to have the lowest recycling rate in the Great Lakes region at 14.25%. The recycling rate refers to the rate which recyclable materials are recycled from waste. EGLE estimates the state now has a 35.4% recycling rate.

Despite these numbers rising, it’s still important to get more people to recycle. Emmet County Recycling is sharing some dos and don’ts of recycling– focusing on some of the most common mistakes they see.

Plastic bags:

  • Bag up your bags
  • In Emmet, Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties they go in the “Papers, Boxes and Bags” bins.
  • Elsewhere, they can be returned to stores that offer drop-boxes, generally in their entry ways, i.e. Meijer, Walmart.

Containers (i.e. cans, aluminum trays, bottles, jugs, jars):

  • DO NOT bag your containers!
    • The sort crew has to rip them all open.
    • This is a lot of extra labor AND endangers the workers
      • danger of grabbing broken glass caught in the bags
      • danger of being exposed to rotting or infected garbage


  • DO NOT put them in with your day-to-day recyclables like cardboard, cans and plastic
  • Some batteries are especially prone to catching fire and have been causing fires at recycling facilities including one in Grand Rapids just this year.
  • Batteries must be dropped off a specially designated battery collection sites, i.e. our facility, some stores
  • The more flammable batteries need to have their terminals taped over with clear tape and—for large batteries—they can be individually bagged in plastic.
    • These include Lithium batteries and all batteries 9V or more
  • Store new batteries so the terminal can’t touch.
  • Tape worn out batteries before storing them or recycling them.

To learn more about Emmet County Recycling, click here.

Categories: Earth Day, the four