General Waste Information

City of Muskegon Solid Waste Coordinator – (231) 724-4100

Garbage Pick-up: Curbside garbage pick-up is provided each week at no charge. Your garbage day depends on your location in the City. Garbage must be contained in the green plastic cart, which must be obtained from the City. Carts must stay with the property and can be replaced for $55.00 if lost or stolen. Any refuse not in a Cart is not picked up. If trash accumulates on the property it will result in a clean-up and billing and/or ticket to the property owner. Additional carts are available for $13.00 per month. Carts for new homes are $55.00.

If you garbage pickup is missed, please call the main line at 724-4100.

Garbage Stickers Program: If you have more garbage than the Cart can hold, you must have a garbage sticker on each item (see below for items you can tag with those stickers and items you cannot). If loose items do not have a sticker, you may get a 24-hour violation notice, which could result in a clean-up bill. We recommend that you staple the sticker on the item if there is a chance it will blow off. The stickers may be purchased for $2.00 each at the City Treasurer’s Office in City Hall or at the Public Service Building on Keating Avenue. If you buy five (5) garbage stickers, you get one (1) free (6 for $10.00). Please Note: Appliances require separate neon green stickers, which cost $25.00. For more information, please see the section about appliances on page 5 in this booklet.

Acceptable Sticker Items:

  • Bags of Garbage (30lbs or less)
  • Household Furniture
  • Mattress
  • Bed Springs
  • Metal & Wood Furniture
  • Carpet & Pads (30lbs or less)
  • Storm Doors
  • Windows
  • Toilets
  • Bathtubs
  • Sinks
  • Cardboard Boxes (Flattened, Tied in bundles less than 30lbs)
  • Television Sets(30lbs or less)

Non-Acceptable Sticker Items:

  • Appliances
  • Batteries
  • Hazardous Waste Material
  • Christmas Trees
  • Engine Parts
  • Car Parts
  • Building Materials
  • Tires
  • Bags of Grass or Leaves
  • Brush or Twigs

Carts: To keep neighborhoods looking neat and avoid spilling trash, please do not put your Carts out before 7:00 p.m. the night before garbage pick-up. After Carts are emptied, they are to be stored out of public view. If a Cart is not taken care of, you may be ticketed or it could be taken away.

Spring Clean-up: A dumpster day for each neighborhood is also provided. Each neighborhood association supervises the dumpster day for their area.

Recycling: City of Muskegon Recycling Program

Styrofoam: Clean Styrofoam used in packing boxes can be recycled locally. Call 755-1662 for more information. Styrofoam that has had food contact such as meat trays or used dishes will not be accepted.

Special Disposal Needs: For larger disposal needs you may go to Muskegon County Landfill 9366 Apple Avenue, Phone: 724-6001. Open: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat. 8:00a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Fee: please call for prices.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is made up of water and ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is a sweet smelling and tasting material that is attractive to pets and children. Ingestion of antifreeze can cause severe damage to the nervous system and kidneys.

Most automotive service centers will accept reasonable amounts of used (drained) antifreeze for recycling. Always call first to verify acceptance of materials, limitations and possible charges.

Antifreeze should never be poured down the drain or a storm sewer because of the damage it can cause to the environment.

Appliances/Scrap Metals

Appliances require separate garbage stickers, which cost $25.00 and must be stuck visibly to the appliance in order for the City to take the appliance at garbage pick-up. Appliances and scrap metal can also be brought to many local scrap dealers.

Metals such as tin cans, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, iron, steel, stainless steel, zinc, etc., may be disposed of at the following locations:

  • Shoreline Recycling, 259 Ottawa Street, Phone: 722-6081
  • West Michigan Recycling Center, 40 Harvey Street, Phone: 773-7582

Depending on the metal, you may get cash for scrap!

If you can not recycle your appliance immediately, please remember to:

REMOVE, BLOCK or LOCK refrigerator or freezer unit doors to prevent accidental
trapping of children.

Asphalt and Concrete Recycling

The following locations accept concrete, asphalt, brick and block for recycling:

Ken Cooper Recycling
Concrete Recycling Site
5750 Airline Road
Fruitport Township
865-3337

White Lake Excavating, Inc.
2571 Holton – Whitehall Road
Whitehall Township
894-6918

The following location accepts concrete, sidewalk and block for recycling, but no bricks:

Verplank’s Trucking
Getty Street location next to Spraque Auto Parts in Muskegon.
Please call their Ferrysburg office beforehand at (616) 842-1448.

Batteries

Automobile batteries can be returned to most auto parts retail stores and automotive repair centers. When purchasing a new battery, it is necessary to bring the old battery in for trade that covers the “core charge”. If you have old batteries that have been stored for some time, they can usually be returned, however, there may be a charge for disposal. Always call first to verify if the business accepts auto batteries for recycling and if there are charges. NOTE: Automotive batteries contain strong acids. If leaking, use extreme caution. These acids can cause severe burns and can do extensive damage to clothing, paint finishes and other surfaces.

Flashlight batteries can be saved for collection during the Muskegon County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. If you have batteries for recycling, please store them safely and contact 724-6001 (Muskegon County Department of Public Works) and 850 West Sherman (759-7597) in Muskegon. Please call first to verify any limitations.

Nickel-Cadmium Batteries (rechargeable) such as video camera batteries can be recycled at Radio Shack locations at 1640 East Apple (773-1016) and 850 West Sherman (759-7597) in Muskegon. Please call first to verify any limitations.

Hearing aid batteries can sometimes be recycled at the same location where they were purchased. If no recycling is available, they can be taken as part of the Muskegon County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program by calling 724-6001.

Gasoline Reuse and Disposal

Gasoline can become temporarily unusable due to long storage, exposure to the elements causing minor water contamination or if some other materials such as small amounts of dirt or rust are present. These situations do not necessarily mean that the gasoline is not usable.

If gasoline has been stored for a long period of time it can become somewhat “thick” due to evaporation. This gasoline can simply be mixed with three (3) parts new gasoline. If the gasoline contains small amounts of water, a fuel-drying additive should be mixed with it. If large amounts of water are present, let the gasoline sit undisturbed for a few weeks and siphon or carefully pour the gasoline into another container. Because water is heavier than the gasoline, it should not mix and will sink to the bottom. Fuel-drying additives should then be used. If the gasoline is contaminated with small amounts of dirt or rust, filter it through cheesecloth or coffee filters and then use a fuel-drying additive and mix with three (3) parts new gasoline.

Two-cycle gas is a mixture of gasoline and oil and should only be used in motors designed to use this type of fuel. If 2-cycle fuel is contaminated, follow the same procedures as with regular gasoline. Remember to dilute 2-cycle fuel with gasoline and oil, not straight gasoline.

If you are working with gasoline, please use the following precautions:

  • Do not smoke
  • Use eye protection
  • Wash Hands, etc. immediately if exposed
  • Use caution around appliances with a pilot light
  • Use protective gloves
  • Work in area with proper ventilation
  • Avoid inhaling gasoline vapors
  • Work in area where, if spilled, the gasoline will evaporate but not pollute ground or ground water
  • Do not pour gasoline in drains or trash
  • Always store gasoline in properly marked and approved container

NOTE: These are good precautions when working with any potentially hazardous or harmful substance. Always make safety the first priority.

For additional information, call the Muskegon County Department of Public Works at 724-6411.

Household Hazardous Wastes

Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are materials that, if disposed of incorrectly, can cause environmental damage by contaminating ground and surface waters, and potentially threatening wildlife and human health. Examples include lawn and garden pesticides and
fertilizers, solvents such as paint thinners, waste motor oil, paints, varnishes and stains, and corrosive cleaners.

Be responsible! Disposing of these products in storm drains allows these materials to enter surface waters untreated. Pouring on the ground (or burying materials) leads to potential groundwater (drinking water) contamination. Liquid wastes are not allowed in Michigan landfills. Improper disposal of hazardous materials can also lead to accidental poisoning or other injuries.

The best way to manage HHW is to use up quantities of the product for its intended purpose. Proper use of a product is both environmentally and economically more feasible than disposing of the material at a HHW collection event.

The Muskegon County Department of Public Works has a Household Hazardous Waste collection program that has periodic collection events held throughout the year for County residents. Please call their office at 724-6001 for an appointment or disposal information.

Miscellaneous Recycling

Clear, green and brown glass, paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum and #2 plastic may be disposed of at Community Recycling, 1970 Port City Boulevard, Phone: 773-8407.

Paint Disposal

When paint is properly and completely used, it is not much of a problem. However, if there is leftover paint, proper disposal is necessary. Improper disposal can lead to many problems. Landfills do not accept and are not designed to accept any liquids, including liquid paint.

Disposal of paint in storm sewers leads to direct contamination of surface waters affecting aquatic life and threatening drinking water supplies. Pouring waste paint onto the ground for disposal can lead to direct contamination of groundwater sources that comprise many drinking water sources. Also, all of these means of disposal are illegal.

The best way to take care of paint is to use it for its intended purpose. Try to use up paint or find someone who can use the paint. Full cans of unused paint may be used by community assistance programs. Please call such organizations first to verify acceptance policies. Simply dropping such items off may result in expensive disposal costs for that organization. Remember to buy only the amount of paint that is needed for a project so as to minimize the amount of paint needing disposal later.

Drying Paint

Drying paint is the most acceptable and least expensive means of disposal. If only small volumes of paint are left in cans, simply opening the cans and letting them set for a week may do the trick. If you have containers of paint that are more than 1/3 full, adding absorbent material such as kitty litter or floor dry directly to the paint in the cans works well.

Many paints will separate over time. Carefully open the cans and inspect the condition of the paint. If the paint has been sitting for some time, it likely will have an oily layer on top (even if it is latex). Carefully decant (pour off) the top layer of liquid into some kitty litter. Add as much kitty litter as it takes to absorb the oil until only tacky. The remaining paint can be mixed with kitty litter directly in the can. Stir the absorbent material in until tacky. If the paint cans are nearly full, you may need to pour some of the paint into another container, paint can or even a plastic trash liner to be able to add sufficient kitty litter.

After the paint has been properly prepared, it can be placed in the regular trash. Remember to leave the lids of the cans off so trash haulers will know that the paint has been taken care of correctly.

Aerosol Paints: If can is empty, simply discard in regular trash. If some paint remaining, spray on cardboard until gone. If full and sprayer does not function, please call Muskegon County Department of Public Works for assistance in our household hazardous waste
collection program at 724-6411. You can also call this number for other special questions about paint disposal you might have.

Used Oil Recycling

Disposal of oil in storm sewers leads to direct contamination of surface waters affecting aquatic life and threatening drinking water supplies. Pouring waste oil onto the ground for disposal can lead to direct contamination of groundwater sources that comprise many drinking water sources. Also, all of these means of disposal are illegal.

Waste motor oil can be recycled and re-refined into motor oil or other lubricants. When
recycling motor oil, please remember to note the following tips:

  • Always drain oil filters well.
  • Place used oil into a clean, dry container with a lid to prevent spilling during transport or storage.
  • Label containers as “USED MOTOR OIL” and store in a safe place until ready to transport. Keep out of reach of children or pets.
  • Be sure to store in a container that will not leak or cause damage.
  • Never mix anything else with the oil such as other lubricants, transmission or brake fluids or antifreeze. Mixing other materials with motor oil will cause it to be non- recyclable and potentially hazardous waste.
  • Store only small amounts of oil before bringing to recycling locations. Many locations that accept motor oil restrict the amount to five (5) gallons or less.

Used motor oil can be taken to the following locations:

  • AutoZone 1236 East Apple, Muskegon 773-4479
  • AutoZone 1740 Holton Rd., North Muskegon 744-4265
  • AutoZone 705 West Sherman, Norton Shores 737-2502
  • Quick Lube Plus 2355 Holton Road, Muskegon Township 744-7557
  • Quick Lube Plus 1950 Whitehall Road, Laketon Township 744-7577
  • Speedy Lube 4585 Grand Haven Road, Norton Shores 798-7633
  • Speedy Lube 2211 East Apple, Muskegon 773-4941
  • Speedy Lube 57 West Broadway, Muskegon Heights 737-1521
  • Speedy Lube 409 Center, North Muskegon 744-5203

Also, check with your local automobile repair business for recycling opportunities.

Used Tires

Old tires with water in them are breeding areas for mosquitoes. This is a big concern, since mosquitoes can carry the “West Niles Virus”. This virus, transmitted to humans only by a bite from an infected mosquito, can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and in rare cases death in the elderly or people with weak immune systems. Symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe sickness, requiring hospitalization. For further information on “West Niles Virus” you can call the Muskegon County Health Department at 724-6311.

For proper disposal of used automobile tires, contact your local tire retailer. A reasonable charge for disposal is likely. Always call first to verify with the dealer if they accept tires for disposal, the limit on the number of tires and the price for disposal. Different size tires will require different disposal needs and costs.

Here are some of the many tire dealers in this area:

  • Downtown Tire Co., 952 Terrace, 722-3768
  • Smith Tire Co., 499 W. Broadway, 733-9406
  • Firestone Tire & Service Centers, 700 W. Sherman Blvd., 733-2591
  • Chet’s Tire Service Inc., 1281 E. Laketon Avenue, 728-9148
  • Discount Tire Co. Inc., 647 W. Norton Avenue (Norton Shores), 739-3555

Yard Waste Disposal

Yard Waste includes leaves, grass clippings, garden debris, shrubbery and brush. These materials take up much needed space in landfills. Michigan law bans all yard waste from being land filled since April 1995 and yard waste is a resource that can be utilized as compost, landscaping materials, etc.

Please! Don’t just dump yard waste in vacant land or along a ravine. Concentrations of rotting vegetation running into storm sewers or streams can kill aquatic life.

Proper care for your lawn can be one of the most effective pollution prevention activities in your household. It can also give you a great looking lawn and save you money. Accurate application rates and timing of fertilizer application will allow your turf to use the nutrients more efficiently and decrease the amount of nutrients getting into groundwater supplies.

Leaves and yard waste: Yard waste is picked up the same day as your garbage. Yard waste such as grass, leaves and twigs must be in paper bags or rigid container only or the waste hauler will not pick it up. Leaves stored in plastic bags for long periods of time may be cited by an Environmental Inspector. Branches and sticks need to be tied up with twine in manageable bundles no greater than 4 feet in length. Branches can be no more than 4 inches in diameter. Large limbs and trees coming from residential units may be disposed of by making an appointment with the City’s Solid Waste Coordinator at the Department of Public Works 724-6937.

Mulching grass has become very popular as a method of reducing or eliminating the volume
of yard waste requiring expensive handling. Also, mulching returns many nutrients to the turf
and allows for less fertilizer applications as a result. Call the Muskegon County Extension
Service (724-6361) for information on soil testing, mowing tips, composting and fertilizer
application advice.

Christmas Trees: Christmas trees are picked up through the second week of January.

Composting

There are many benefits in composting yard trimmings and some food scraps. Since yard
waste cannot go to landfills it is an alternative means of disposal. It can save you money if
used as an alternative to other fertilizers and pesticides.

Soil Enrichment:

  • Adds organic bulk and humus to regenerate poor soils
  • Helps suppress plant diseases and pests
  • Increases soil nutrient content and water retention in both clay and sandy soils
  • Restores soil structure after reduction of natural soil microbes by chemical fertilizer
  • Combats specific soil, water, and air problems

Pollution Remediation:

  • Absorbs odors and degrades volatile organic compounds
  • Binds heavy metals and prevents them from migrating to water resources or being absorbed by plants
  • Degrades wood preservatives, petroleum products, pesticides, etc. in contaminated soils

Pollution Prevention:

  • Prevents pollutants in storm water runoff from reaching water resources
  • Prevents erosion and silting on embankments parallel to creeks, lakes and rivers
  • Prevents erosion and turf loss on roadsides, hillsides, playing fields, etc.

Composting facilities available for public use:

White Lake Excavating
2571 Holton
(Whitehall Township)
894-6918

Engle Transport
5054 South Sheridan
(Fruitport Township)
865-6116

Always call first for hours of operations, limitations and charges. Do not mix garbage with leaves or grass clippings that are intended for commercial composting.

Home Composting

An alternative to hauling the compost items away to a composting facility is home composting. It is easy to do since it can be set up in a corner of the yard with few supplies. It has to be a level spot of about 3- to 5-feet square near a water source and preferably out of the direct sunlight. The area needs to be clear of sod and grass. You can use chicken wire, scrap wood, or cinder blocks to build a composting bin, but make sure to leave enough space for air to reach the compost pile. In order to tend the pile it is easier if one of the sides is removable.

Compost-able items: Many food items can be composted, including vegetable trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds with filters, and tea bags without any metal staples. Also compostable are: leaves, grass, and other yard clippings, vacuum cleaner lint, wool and cotton rags, sawdust, shredded newspaper, and fireplace ashes.

Do not compost meats, dairy foods, or any fats, oil, or grease because they might attract pests.

Composting: Start with a pile that consists of a 4-inch layer of leaves, loose soil, or other coarse yard trimmings. If composting food scraps – which is a more involved process – you should mix them with the yard trimmings when adding them to the pile. To absorb any odors that might occur, you can add alfalfa meal or clean cat litter. Water should be sprinkled onto the pile in dry weather, but not as to make it too soggy. The pile should be turned with a pitchfork every few weeks in order to circulate air and to distribute moisture evenly through the pile. You might notice the heat of the pile and might even see worms, but that is part of the decomposing process and completely normal. Note: A composting bin or pile is not a playground for children.

In most climates, the compost is done when it becomes a dark crumbly material with a uniform texture – usually in about 3 to 6 months – and now can be used to spread it in the garden or yard beds or under the shrubbery. The compost is also very good for using as potting soil.