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Starting this October, City of Kalamazoo residents won’t need to worry about sorting their recyclables, thanks to the approval of a contact for single stream recycling services by the City Commission at its July 17 meeting.

The ten-year contract with Republic Services will see the City’s recycling program convert from dual to single stream, meaning that paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal can be mixed together for pickup. The program will also transition from weekly collection of 18-gallon recycling bins, to bi-weekly collection of 95-gallon carts.

These changes will make Kalamazoo’s recycling program even more convenient for residents. The acceptance of mixed items in larger carts means that more items can be recycled, and the carts can be rolled to the curb more easily than the bins currently in use. Bi-weekly collection will also lower the number of collection trucks needed on city streets.

Each household’s collection day will remain the same, but will start occurring on alternating weeks following the change. Carts should be wheeled to the curb by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled collection day, but no sooner than one day prior to collection.  Remove your recycling cart from the curblawn no later than 11:00 p.m. of the day of your collection. Residents are encouraged to use the Recycle Coach app to be reminded of their collection day and receive other important notices.

Households will need to request a cart to opt-in to the program. Each household will be notified of the upcoming changes to the recycling program by mail. Shortly after, an opt-in postcard will be mailed with instructions to request a cart. City staff will be working with community groups to help raise awareness and encourage households to participate. City staff will also host an open house to answer questions and assist residents that may need help requesting a bin (details to be announced).

Opt-in information will be sent to the managers of registered rentals properties. Owners or managers of multi-unit properties can also contact (269) 337-8215 for more information about recycling for their tenants. Tenants that want to participate should notify their property manager.

Initial notice of the program change will be mailed the first week of August, with opt-in instructions sent the following week. To ensure timely delivery of carts, please request your cart by September 1.

Delivery of recycling carts will begin on September 18. Each cart will be delivered with program information and a collection schedule attached. Residents are welcome to keep their existing bin or drop it off to Republic Services at 3432 Gembrit Circle. After the change takes place in October, recyclables placed out in bins will no longer be collected.

Residents are reminded to clean recyclables before placing them in the cart, and ensure that only recyclable materials are collected. Contamination of recycling can require otherwise recyclable items to be taken to a landfill. The Recycle Coach app can also help determine which items are recyclable and which are not.

The City of Kalamazoo’s recycling program is funded by a Solid Waste Millage and does not require any additional payment or user fees to participate. A 2015 survey of residents indicated strong support for moving to a single stream program. All residents are encouraged to participate and help reduce the amount of waste that our community sends to landfills.

pdf Kalamazoo Recycling Schedule 2017-2018 (87 KB)

pdf Kalamazoo Recycling Trifold Brochure (1 MB)

pdf (1 MB)  

Residential Recycling Program


The  pdf View from the Curb (6.05 MB)  is a bi-annual publication providing important information of services provided to City of Kalamazoo residents including weekly curbside trash and recycling information and maps; recyclable lists; bulk trash (changed from monthly to quarterly) and brush information and schedules; and seasonal leaf pick up and flushing schedules. For a quick comparison of all Curbside Pick ups, please see Curbside Programs at a Glance. Recycling information may also be found below.  

To see when your recycling pick up is, please view either the Recycling-by-Street List or the  pdf Weekly Recycling Map . (If you live on a private street, as indicated on the Recycling-by-Street List, please call the office at 269-337-8215 for further details.)  ----If your pick up day falls on any of the holidays listed, the pick up for that day, and each weekday after the holiday within the same week, will be delayed one day (with any holiday-delayed Friday pick up being collected the following Saturday): Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day. (For recycling holiday goods, please see our  pdf Holiday Recycling Tips (506 KB) .)

Please note: all items may go into the same bin with papers separated to one side or in a paper bag.

Recyclables should be out at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled collection day, but set them out no sooner than one day prior to collection.  Remove your recycling bin from the curblawn no later than 11:00 p.m. of the day of your collection.  If you do not have a recycling bin, please call the City of Kalamazoo at 269-337-8215 and we'll arrange for our contractor to deliver one to your home.


Place paper items together (do not mix in loose with other recyclables):

  • Magazines, paperbacks, catalogs and phone books (no hardcover books).
  • Home, school and office paper (includes all colored paper, file folders and blueprints).  Crayon marks are okay, but please remove all metal or plastic binders.
  • Junk mail and envelopes.
  • Newspapers, cereal and tissue-type boxes.  
  • Flatten and stuff the above mentioned paper recyclables inside a paper bag to keep them from being scattered in the wind.  Do not use plastic bags.
  • Corrugated cardboard.  Flatten, fold or cut into pieces no larger than 2' x 2'.  Place cardboard items in the bottom or next to the recycling bin.

Other commingled items:

  • Aseptic containers (gable top containers such as milk cartons and juice boxes).
  • Glass bottles and jars (remove all lids).
  • Tin/aluminum cans, foil and other kitchen metals, empty aerosol cans.
  • Plastic bottles and tubs with the symbols #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #7.  Remove all caps.  AcceptableAndNonRecyclable
  • Please note: Rinse out all plastic bottles, milk cartons, cans, juice boxes and glass containers to avoid unpleasant odors and help assure the marketability of the recyclables.

Do NOT include any of the following:

  • Plastic bags of any kind (no matter what symbol is on the bag).
  • Packing foam or Styrofoam (polystyrene) materials.
  • Bottles or containers that have held a toxic material such as motor oil.
  • Heat resistant glass such as canning jars, any glassware approved for the oven, hot foods or hot liquids.
  • Tissues or paper disposables, such as hand towels, paper plates, paper cups or any freezer food boxes.

Help Keep Our City Clean: Avoid Code Enforcement Action

Bulk trash, garbage containers, recycling bins, recycling materials, or brush left or placed on the curb lawn outside of the designated time for collection could result in you being charged for the cost of its removal. Garbage containers (Herby Curby containers or recycling bins) may be placed at the curb "no earlier than 8:00 p.m. on the day prior to the scheduled collection, and these containers must be removed from the curbside (or street side if there is no curb) not later than 11:00 p.m. of the collection day." (Kalamazoo City Code of Ordinances, 15A-2(a))

Solid Waste (quarterly trash or seasonal brush) deposited for public collection "shall not be deposited earlier than 7:00 a.m. of the day preceding the day of regularly scheduled monthly collection for the district in which such solid waste is deposited." (Kalamazoo Code of Ordinances, 31-21). Any solid waste, "which is not, for any reason, collected by the city or its authorized contractor on the day on which collection is actually performed in the district in which the solid waste is deposited, shall be removed from public view within two(2) days following completion of the regularly scheduled monthly collection for that district." (Section 31-22).

Violations of the above types can result in immediate corrective action being taken by the City without prior notice, with the expense for the corrective action being billed to the property owner of record. (Section 22-4(f)). To report curblawn violations, you may call Inspection Services at 337-8221. Questions or concerns regarding the City's bulk trash and recycling programs should be directed to 337-8215.

Recycling Appliances, Office Items, Electronics, and Other Miscellaneous Items

Before you throw them in the trash, check out our list of disposal alternatives. Some recyclers, such as Schupan and Sons, will accept and even pay for certain items including batteries (all lead acid and some lithiom-ion & nickel-cad), computers, (including R2 RIOS certification to ensure data is thoroughly erased), house wires, aluminum gutter and siding, and applicances. 

Drop Off Recycling Site

The drop off recycling center, formerly located at 616 Gull Road, relocated to an existing drop off facility at 3432 Gembrit Cir. owned by Republic Waste Services. Republic Waste Services Recycling Center is open to all area residents and businesses from Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

Republic Waste Services' free recycling drop off center offers area households and businesses an opportunity to recycle newspapers, mail, magazines, catalogs, cereal box-type cartons, telephone books, metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs with narrow necks, colorless glass, brown glass, green glass and scrap metal.

The Republic Waste Services Recycling Center does not accept motor oil or Styrofoam-like cups, trays, egg cartons, packing forms, and other polystyrene. However, UPS Store, Mail Etc, Mail Room, and Pak Mail accept clean, loose-fill packing peanuts for reuse.

Residents of Apartments, Condos, and Mobile Homes Can Recycle Too

Kalamazoo offers a free multi-unit recycling program for the managers, owners and occupants of residential properties with 5 or more units.  Funded by the Solid Waste Millage the recycling program offers a variety of container sizes and pick up schedules based on need.  Please note that property owners are responsible for communicating to their tenants that recycling carts should not be contaminated with household trash.  Continued contamination could result in charges to the property owner or termination of the service.  If you are not currently participating in the City’s recycling program, you can find out how easy it is to begin by calling 337-8215.

Two-Stream Pick Up

The curbside trucks collect recyclables in two separate compartments -- one for clean papers and the other for a bottles and cans. The two-stream system allows the driver to quickly pack in 30% more materials per load. Full trucks "tip" their separate loads for automated and manual processing in the relative comfort of an indoor sorting facility. To speed collection, please keep papers separate from bottles and cans by stuffing papers in paper bags (no plastic bags).

Recycling at Work

Paper is generally the most common "waste" material generated by a business. That's why most area businesses already recycle boxes and office papers. Give each work station a collection basket or box. Place larger containers near copiers, printers and fax machines. Use a staff meeting and posters to show everyone how to participate.

Fortunately, paper recycling is easy and can cut your waste disposal costs thanks to free drop-off recycling sites for paper and economically priced pick up services. Spending a nickel on paper recycling services can save a quarter by having costly trash dumpsters downsized or emptied less frequently.

When You Shop

Buying products that are made from recycled materials is easy, considering the materials that you help collect at home and work are used again to manufacture every glass jar, every metal can, most cereal boxes, and most plastic shampoo and detergent bottles, and even a few high-quality and economically priced paper products. By collecting recyclables and then buying products made from your recyclables, you can make a real difference in conserving energy, reducing pollution, and supporting jobs.