Acceptable & Unacceptable Items

If you have an item you'd like to recycle that you don't see on this list below, and you're not sure where to take it, check out this list of locations that accept many different recyclables. Just be sure to contact the company before you go to make sure your item can, in fact, be recycled!


  • Tissue (including color)
  • Wrapping Paper

Plastic Containers

  • All containers marked 1-7
  • No motor oil containers

Glass, Bottles & Jars

  • Clean and discard lids
  • No ceramic of any kind
  • Colored glass accepted

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
  • Nonmagnetic metals
  • 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
Flatten and put in paper bag with newspapers or tie with string.

Corrugated Cardboard

  • 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 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.