Holiday

Schedules Carts & Totes Curbside Recycling Service Cart Spring Break

What areas have curbside recycling collection service?

The following communities provide curbside collection of recyclables to most* of their residents:

  • Alanson, within the Village Limits
  • Bear Creek Township, including the Bay View Association
  • Harbor Springs
  • Little Traverse Township
  • Petoskey, including Bay Harbor
  • Resort Township

Exceptions
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, however they chose not to participate at this time. Curbside collection is not offered in the less densely populated areas of the county because long drives between homes would make the service inefficient and expensive.

How can I get a recycling tote and/or cart?


If you live in one of the participating communities and need a cart or tote(s), request them here.

To keep the curbside system cost effective, we now provide a limit of one rolling black cart and two darker-green totes per household. You are welcome to use additional containers no larger than the green totes, for example storage totes up to 18 gallons, the typical 12-gallon “kitchen” waste baskets, five-gallon buckets, or medium-size cardboard boxes (write “SAVE” on the side of the box if you want to reuse it). Just be sure to set out at least one official “Emmet County Recycling” tote or cart with them so we know you mean the contents for recycling.

If you see escaped or abandoned totes or carts, please notify us of their whereabouts at [email protected] or 231-348-0640. We will get them back to their homes or retrieve them for reuse!

Over a holiday, when will my recyclables be picked up?

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 when they fall on a weekday. The County does not observe any other holidays (i.e. Presidents Day). In 2021 this will mean picks up will be delayed one day on and after:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day, and
  • Thanksgiving

Because the 4th of July and Christmas fall on the weekends in 2021 they won't affect your pick up day.

Holiday Exception: Bay View Association
Due to DPW staffing patterns, curbside service in Bay View stays on Thursdays, even after a holiday.

Do I have to pay for curbside collection service?

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.

What day of the week is my neighborhood served?

  • Alanson: Tuesdays
  • 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)
  • Resort: Mondays

What time do I need to have my tote and/or cart out for collection?


For reliable service, you must have your recyclables out by 7:00 a.m. You may observe that your driver generally 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! We are not able to send trucks back to pick up recyclables set out after 7:00 a.m.

What materials are collected curbside?

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:

paper-and-plastic-bags-bin**Note: you may set your Paper, Boxes and Bags out in either the wheeled cart or use one of your green totes for this stream. Just be sure to keep your Containers separate.

  • Plastic grocery and bread bags
  • Cardboard*, cereal boxes and brown paper grocery bags
  • Office and writing paper
  • Magazines, catalogs and books
  • Newspapers and inserts

*must be no more than 24 inches in either dimension when flattened. Larger cardboard can be recycled at Emmet County's 13 recycling drop sites in the Cardboard bins. Enormous cardboard can be recycled at the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center.

plastic-containers-and-cans-bin

CONTAINERS INCLUDE:

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal cans, foil and trays
  • Juice boxes, milk cartons and paper cups
  • Plastic tubs, trays and cups
  • Plastic bottles, jugs and jars

Note: Containers are collected in the green totes only.

How do I set out my recyclables?

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 wheeled cart, two totes, a tote and a paper bag, setting a waste basket inside one tote to contain one category.. 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 cause injuries.
  • 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.

Do apartments and condominiums have curbside collection of their recyclables?

Full details for apartment, condominium and business curbside recycling services are located here.

Do businesses receive curbside recycling service?

Full details for apartment, condominium and business curbside recycling services are located here.

Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about curbside service?

Call Emmet County Recycling at 231-348-0640.

How is the service paid for?

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.)

Who is operating the service?

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.

You can recycle many additional materials (for example clothing, scrap metal, and electronics) at the Drop-off Center. See the Recycling Guide for all of the details.


Cart Spring Break aka “Frost Laws”

Spring-Break-Cart
Do you and your Papers-Boxes-and–Bags Cart live in Bear Creek, Little Traverse or Resort township? Then your cart goes on “spring break”! Don’t worry though, you can still set out your recycling for curbside collection, even Papers, Boxes and Bags during this vacation. Here’s the deal:

Why?

Use of the black rolling recycling carts must be suspended for a few weeks each year in late winter because, as the ground begins to thaw, county road commissions in the north impose truck weight restrictions (often called “frost laws”) on most county roads. They do it to minimize damage to the roads during this very vulnerable period. According to a Michigan Department of Transportation press release, “When roads that have been frozen all winter begin to thaw from the surface downward, melting snow and ice saturate the softened ground. During the spring thaw, the roadbed, softened by trapped moisture beneath the pavement, is more susceptible to damage. It’s also the time of year when potholes begin forming due to freeze-thaw cycles.” By limiting the weight of trucks on the roads, the agencies limit damage during this vulnerable period.

These restrictions prevent us from driving our big, white, curbside recycling trucks—which mechanically lift and empty the rolling black recycling carts—on most residential roads in the townships. During the frost laws period, recycling program staff service households in the townships with pick-up trucks pulling trailers. It is not possible to empty the rolling carts into the trailers.

So What, Exactly, Are You Supposed to Do?

While frost laws are in force, you can continue to set your paper and cardboard out for collection but you must use one of your green totes instead of the black rolling cart. You are also welcome to use storage totes up to 18 gallons (the size of ECR’s standard green totes) to set your paper and cardboard out, if you prefer not to keep an extra recycling tote all year. Cardboard and paper set out in totes must fit entirely in the tote. Alternately, you can take your Papers, Boxes and Bags to one of our 13 recycling drop-off sites (for example in the plaza with Lowe’s, by the Coin Laundry in D&W Plaza, behind Toski-Sands Plaza, or at the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center).

Optional lids for ECR’s green totes are also available. The lids are free while supplies last, thanks to a grant from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. They can be picked up at the Department of Public Works offices in the Emmet County Building (200 Division Street, Suite G76 in downtown Petoskey. Public entrance is off Lake Street) or at the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center (in Little Traverse Township at 7363 South Pleasantview Road). The Drop-off Center is open 8:00 to 4:00 weekdays and 8:00 to 3:00 Saturdays.

When?

When will frost laws go into effect in any given year? And when will they end? It’s up to the Emmet County Road Commission and the Michigan Department of Transportation. According to MDOT’s Communications Office, “MDOT determines when weight restrictions begin each spring by measuring frost depths along state highways, observing road conditions, and monitoring weather forecasts. Weight restrictions remain in effect until the frost line is deep enough to allow moisture to escape and the roadbeds regain stability. County road commissions and city public works departments put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually, but not always, coincide with state highway weight restrictions.” Locally, frost laws have begun as early as February 20 and as late March 13 within the last five years.

As soon as seasonal truck weight restrictions wrap up—usually in April—you can go back to using your rolling carts. We will announce the end of the “cart spring break” on our Facebook and Instagram pages, website (EmmetRecycling.org), and phone system (231-348-0640) as well as through our e-newsletter, The Retriever. To subscribe to the Retriever and automatically receive frost laws beginning and ending dates, visit EmmetRecycling.org and search “enews.”

How Will You Know?

Emmet County Recycling provides four options for residents to find out when frost law will begin. We will send a ‘special edition’ of our monthly e-newsletter out to subscribers at both the beginning and end of frost laws. You can subscribe by submitting your email address at the bottom of the page. We will also be displaying announcements of the start and end dates on the home page here at EmmetRecycling.org, posting them on their Facebook and Instagram pages, and recording messages on their phone system at 348-0640.

Reunited and recycling’s good…

As soon as seasonal truck weight restrictions wrap up—usually in April—you can go back to using your rolling carts. We will announce the end of the “cart spring break” on our Facebook and Instagram pages, website (EmmetRecycling.org), and phone system (231-348-0640) as well as through our e-newsletter, The Retriever. To subscribe to the Retriever and automatically receive frost laws beginning and ending dates, visit EmmetRecycling.org and search “e-news.”


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Recycling Drop Sites and Locations

Pleasantview Road
Drop-Off Center

Hours:
Weekdays: 8am - 4pm
Saturday: 8am - 3pm
Closed Sunday.

Address:
7363 Pleasantview Road
Harbor Springs, MI

Information Directions

Mackinaw City
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
Behind the High School and baseball diamond at the Public Works Yard.

Directions

Cross Village
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
Off Levering Road on Oak Drive, next to the Fire House.

Directions

State Road
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
At the Readmond Township Fire Hall, just off State Road on Wormwood Road.

Directions

Pellston
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
At the corner of State Street and Zipf street.

Directions

Robinson Road
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
from Jurek’s Market at the Pleasantview Road jog.

Directions

Harbor Springs Area
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
In the parking lot at the Harbor Springs IGA.

Directions

Alanson Area
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
Off Milton Avenue in the Village Public Works Yard.

Directions

Toski Sands
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
Behind Toski-Sands Plaza on M-119.

Directions

D&W
Recycling Drop Site


Open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Location:
In D&W (formerly Glen’s) Plaza, at the west end near the coin laundry.

Directions