Is recycling available at my home?
There are many recycling opportunities available in Barry County including curbside pickup and recycling drop off centers. Additionally there are numerous PaperGator bins located around the county.
Use the Recycling Map to see what is available at your home or visit the Residential Services page.
What is recyclable?
- paper - mail, office paper, magazines, and newspaper
- flattened cardboard, paperboard, and cartons
- plastic bottles, tubs, and jugs
- glass bottles and jars
- metal cans (labels okay)
Use the Barry County 2Go-Zero Guide here to find opportunities to recycle, reuse, refill or repair items and information on safely disposing of potentially hazardous materials, chemicals and unwanted medications.
Why should I recycle?
It Reduces Waste - The average American discards 4.5 pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage ends up in landfills, where it's compacted and buried. It Reduces the Use of Landfill Space - Recycling means we use less landfill space, preventing the need to expand existing landfills or create new ones.
It's Good for Our Economy - American manufacturing companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products. Michigan’s recycling and reuse industry is made up of an estimated 2,242 establishments.
It Creates New Demand - Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products; decreasing waste, saving natural resources and helping our economy.
It Creates Jobs - Recycling in the U.S. employs over 757,000 people, provides $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. Michigan’s recycling industry provides jobs for 61,000 Michiganders.
It Saves Energy - Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with raw materials. For example, manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.
It's Good for The Environment - Providing the raw materials (recyclables) to manufacturers requires far less energy and uses fewer natural resources (virgin materials). Natural resources take thousands of years to replenish if they can be replenished at all.
It Helps Prevent Global Warming - In 2014, over 89 million tons of municipal solid waste (food, plants, glass, boxes, cans, batteries, electronics, plastics, etc.) were recycled or composted in the United States, saving over 322,000 GWh of energy – enough to provide electricity to 30 million homes.
It Reduces Water Pollution - Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.
It Protects Wildlife - Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife.
Michigan Recycling Coalition, Environmental Protection Agency, National Recycling Coalition
Why can't I recycle at a drop-off in a neighboring township or village?
Residents of each local unit of government pay for the recycle program, therefore please use only the recycle program in your township/village/city. If your local unit of government does not offer a program for recycling, voice your interest to one of your government officials.
How do I properly dispose of household chemicals, pesticides, sharps and/or medications?
Household hazardous waste (HHW) are materials that are harmful to residents, pets, lakes, drinking water, and the environment if not disposed of properly. These materials include anything that should not be put in a landfill or incinerator.
Barry County holds two Household Hazardous Waste and tire collection events each year in spring and fall at the Barry County Expo Center.
Learn more about proper disposal of:
How can I handle yard waste and food waste?
Yard waste and food waste can be composted at home or at a commercial facility. The City of Hastings compost facility is located at 303 W. State Road. Learn more here.
Historically yard waste (leaves, brush, branches, etc.) has been burned in rural areas in order to remove it from the grounds. However, burning yard waste (although seemingly all natural substances) has negative effects on the air we breathe, our lakes and the environment as a whole. To learn more about the effects of open burning and to find alternatives visit the Before You Burn page.
Composting is a great alternative to burning but beware of invasive species! Invasive species CAN NOT be composted, learn which plants are invasive in Barry County and how to handle them here.