Acceptable & Unacceptable Items
- Tissue (including color)
- Wrapping Paper
- All containers marked 1-7
- No motor oil containers
Glass, Bottles & Jars
- Clean and discard lids
- No green or brown glass, broken glass, mirrors, window glass, light bulbs, or ceramic mugs
- Only clear glass
Tin Cans, Small Metal Items & Empty Aerosol Cans
Aerosol cans must be empty
Clean cans and remove both ends and flatten
Only magnetic metals
Small metal items such as clothes hangers, silverware, pipe, clean pots and pans, etc.
Clean pie pans, TV dinner trays, lawn furniture, and cans
Storm or screen doors (remove glass)
Newspapers, Inserts & Junk Mail
Newspaper and all inserts that come with the newspaper (staples OK). Newsprint Ads.
Tie with string or place in paper bag.
Magazines, Glossy Advertisements, Catalogs & Telephone Books
- Glossy advertisements magazines and catalogs
- Tie securely with string or put in paper bag with newspapers
Paperboard & Boxboard Boxes
Only clean empty paper boxes such as:
- Cereal boxes
- Cracker and cake boxes, etc.
- Detergent boxes
- Frozen food boxes
- No milk or juice cartons or drink boxes
- Paper towel roll (inside core)
- Pizza boxes (outside box only)
- Pop and beer cartons
- Remove all food, plastic, cellophane, foil, and liners
- Discard packing material, loose food, or badly stained cardboard
- Fold or cut into 2 foot by 3 foot pieces. Tie securely or bundle with paperboard and boxboard.
Used Motor Oil
The Sterling Heights Recycling Center (7200 18 Mile Road) will no longer accept waste oil for environmental reasons. Residents looking to dispose of waste or used motor oil can dispose of it at any of the following local and regional businesses:
- Pep Boys Auto
- Auto Zone
- O'Reilly Auto Parts
- Walmart Tire and Lube Express
- Advanced Auto Parts
- Valvoline Instant Oil Change
If you have any questions, please contact DPW at (586) 446-2440.
The following items will not be accepted at recycling drop-off centers or through the Curbside Recycling Program:
- Appliances and furniture
- Building Materials
- Green and Brown Glass
Household Hazardous Waste
The Sterling Heights Recycling Centers do not accept Household Hazardous Waste for collection. However, the Macomb County Health Department does accept Household Hazardous Waste items such as antifreeze, cleaning and household products, and gardening products. Please contact the Macomb County Health Department at 586-466-7923 for disposal information.
While the City of Sterling Heights does not accept electronics such as computers, monitors and printers, there are companies in the area that do. A fee is charged at Great Lakes Recycling, but Macomb County Health Department is free.
Great Lakes Recycling
Roseville, MI 48066
Macomb County Health Department
The Health Department accepts some electronics. Call 586-466-7923 for more information.
You may also visit any of the area Office Depots to inquire about that companies Tech Recycling Service. DD Electronics also offers electronic recycling.
HP Inkjet Cartridges
For recycling information, visit the HP Supplies Recycling website.
Disposal of Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs
Home Depot offers a CFL recycling program at all of its locations. The Macomb County Health Department also accepts CFLs through their Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. For drop-off dates and times, call (586) 466-7923.
If you cannot take your CFL to a Home Depot or to the Macomb County Health Department for recycling, place the CFL in 2 sealed plastic bags and place it with your garbage for curbside collection.
If you break a CFL the EPA suggests:
- Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
- Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Use disposable rubber gloves – do not use bare hands. Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipes and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
- Try not to use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb. If it breaks on a rug or carpet, follow the steps above to remove all possible. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up small pieces of glass and powder. If, however, vacuuming is still needed, vacuum the area, remove the bag or empty and wipe the canister and put the debris in 2 sealed bags in the outdoor trash for the next trash disposal.
The Macomb County Health Department accepts long florescent light bulbs. Please contact the Macomb County Health Department at 586-466-7923 for disposal information or check the Health Department's website. In addition there are private companies that will recycle the bulbs for a fee.
Disposal of Batteries
The City of Sterling Heights stopped accepting household batteries for recycling after being advised by its transporter that, due to potential fire hazard issues, it could no longer handle the batteries residents collected. The City contacted the Macomb County Health Department (MCHD) for confirmation and was advised that the county had also stopped collecting household batteries due to recent Federal Department of Transportation requirements concerning the transport of household batteries. The DOT requires that each battery be individually placed into a plastic bag or that the both terminal ends are tapped over. This requirement is in response to 600 - 700 truck fires, which were caused by sparks from the household batteries while in route to the disposal site.
MCHD stated that due to lower level of containments in batteries and upgrades to regular landfills, household batteries are not recycled but have been disposed in special landfills. The threats previously thought to be inherent with disposal of household batteries with the remaining refuse no longer exist. The county is currently advising residents to dispose of household batteries in with their normal household trash. The City contacted its contractor, Waste Management, and was advised that batteries can be disposed of in their regular household trash.
Due to handling difficulties, associated costs and that fact that household batteries are not truly recycled and will ultimately end up in a landfill anyway, a decision was made to not collect household batteries.