Last Updated 11-18-2018

Page index:
Cell Phones Thrown In The Trash Are Exploding, Causing 5-Alarm Fires
Recycling Automotive Fluids And Home Workshop Items
Recycling Stations Offer Collection Boxes For Nonworking Holiday Lights
How Do You Recycle Old Cds, Dvds And Cassette Tapes?
Kent County Recycling Centers Addresses, Hours, And Info.
Drug-Free Drains - Where To Safely Dispose Of Left Over Drugs.
Target Offers Customers Easy Way To Recycle.
Home Depot Recycles Compact Fluorescent Bulbs And Rechargeable Batteries.
Battery Recycling.
Curb Side Household Recycling Pickup Services in Kent County.
The Paper Gator Recycles Paper & Magazines.


From the City of Wyoming:

If you missed our prescription drug take back event in October, no worries! Area residents can drop items off year-round at our Police Department, 2300 DeHoop. And thanks to our friends at Rite Aid, we have a shiny new drop box in the lobby that's ready and waiting for your unused and expired prescriptions.

For more information, visit the County's Safe Homes site.

Cell Phones Thrown In The Trash Are Exploding, Causing 5-Alarm Fires In Garbage Trucks

Author: Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY Published May 20, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – Love your electronic devices all you want, but please, please, please don’t throw them in the trash when you’re done with them. That’s a plea from makers of the lithium-ion batteries that typically power our phones, laptops and even power tools. Thrown into the trash or even the recycling bin, they can cause fires at trash and recycling centers.

Last year, 65% of waste facilities fires in California began with lithium-ion batteries. And when one goes, others can, too. “If there are multiple batteries there, you will have not just a fire, you will have explosions,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers. It's such a big problem that California has launched an awareness campaign to try to get consumers to keep these ever-so-useful but also potentially dangerous items out of garbage trucks and landfills. It's part of a national effort to keep increasingly common batteries from causing fires.

Those fires can be devastating. In March, an improperly tossed lithium-ion battery caused a five-alarm fire at a recycling facility in Queens in New York City. It burned for two days and shut down four branches of the Long Island Rail Road for several hours because of the thick smoke blowing onto the tracks. That same month, an Indianapolis recycling plant also shut down after a fire blamed on batteries. Last year, a lithium-ion battery thrown into the trash caused an explosion in a New York City garbage truck when the workers compacted the waste, igniting and exploding the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries are found in cellphones, laptop computers, cameras and rechargeable power tools and even the electric scooters that have risen in popularity in the past year, says Kerchner. They also power electric cars like Teslas and Chevy Bolts. When it comes to the lithium-ion batteries in everyday devices, consumers tend to put them in the recycling “hoping that somebody at the end of the line will recycle them eventually,” said George Kerchner, executive director of the Rechargeable Battery Association.

We use a lot of them. In 2017, 175 million pounds of lithium-ion batteries were sold into the U.S. market, according to Call2Recycle. The problem with lithium-ion batteries is the same thing that makes them so great; they’re small and light but still pack a serious energy punch. These are the same type of batteries that were catching fire in the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7s; as well as many other Samsung and other phone models that don't regularly explode.

Even when they’ve pooped out in your device, there’s still enough charge in them that they can create a spark if the terminal of the battery; the metal bits that send power from the battery into the device; touch something metallic, like the side of a garbage truck. This can close the

circuit, which creates an electric charge that can create a spark. “And sparks create fires. If it’s at a recycling facility where it’s mixed in with paper and other items that are burnable, that just goes up like you wouldn’t believe,” Smith said. “These are high-energy batteries, no question about it. If they’re not properly handled, they can catch on fire," Kerchner said.

What to do with them :
Some areas’ recycling programs have special battery recycling. For example, in San Francisco, you can leave batteries in a bag on top of your recycling bin on trash day and the local trash company will take them away to be recycled.
(Note: Call your county or City for local info. Webmaster)

Nationally, lithium-ion batteries can be recycled at all Home Depots, Lowes and Best Buy stores.

If you put them in your recycling bin, put them in a closed plastic bag so that the battery can’t come into contact with metal. A Ziploc bag or something similar works well, said Smith. Don’t put them in the regular garbage, which is typically crushed and shredded. That can cause fires and even explosions. A less optimal but possible solution is to wrap either electrical or duct tape around the battery to cover the terminal, so that it can’t make contact with metal and therefore close the circuit, said Smith.

And note that lithium-ion batteries aren’t the same as the alkaline batteries that typically go into toys and other devices that don’t need really small, energy-dense batteries. Alkaline batteries can and should be recycled, but they don’t carry so much electrical charge that they’re a fire danger.

Watch the story at

Return to top of page.

Recycling Automotive Fluids And Home Workshop Items

I have been trying to find a place to recycle antifreeze because it is a toxin if dumped on the ground and most cities do not want you to dump it in the drains because it messes up their biodigesters. While most auto parts stores recycle used oil, I was unsuccessful in finding one that recycled antifreeze. The web lists many ‘recycling’ places, but unfortunately, I found that only Kent County actually accepts antifreeze.
Kent County’s SafeChem household hazardous waste program.
SafeChem Program Accepted Materials.

I did stumble upon this from Beware, the info from 2013 for Ottawa county.

The lesson here is it is usually done by the County government. So go to your county website, call, or email your county to find out where to recycle antifreeze.

Return to top of page.

Recycling Stations Offer Collection Boxes For Nonworking Holiday Lights

By Kristin Austin,

As area residents bring out their string lights in preparation for the holiday season, they are encouraged to recycle nonworking lights at one of three recycling stations in Kent County. Special collection boxes for string lights are available at the recycling stations in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Rockford. County officials said it is important the string lights are dropped off for recycling separated from other recyclables because the lights can damage sorting equipment.

The collection boxes will be available to residents until late January. The county has offered the holiday- light recycling program since 2014 with almost 2.5 tons of string lights collected, officials said. The three recycling stations include the Kent County Recycling & Education Center at 977 Wealthy St. SW; Kentwood Public Works Facility at 5068 Breton Road; and North Kent Recycling & Waste Center at 2908 10 Mile Road. The Kentwood facility is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the Grand Rapids and Rockford locations are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on the recycling program, visit

Return to top of page.

How Do You Recycle Old Cds, Dvds And Cassette Tapes?

By Matt Vande Bunte G. R. Press Sunday July 3, 2016

An estimated $52 million of recyclable material gets dumped in the trash each year in West Michigan, according to a recent study. That includes a lot of plastic milk jugs, returnable cans and paper.

But what about items like, say, an old CD? Can that be recycled? A reader named Ty asked what to do with VCR tapes, cassette tapes, DVDs and CD-ROMs.

Here’s advice from Nic Vander-Vinne, the resource recovery and recycling manager for the Kent County Department of Public Works, on what to do with those and other items:


“These are accepted through our electronics recycling program. We have three locations: the North Kent Transfer Station, the South Kent Landfill and the Recycling and Education Center.”

Don’t throw these items in your recycling bin with paper and plastic. Drop them off separately at the county locations or at private recyclers such as Comprenew.


“We no longer accept alkaline batteries at our sites. We just take rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries are safe for the trash. There are some companies around Grand Rapids that will take alkaline batteries, but not very many.”

Comprenew charges $1 per pound to recycle batteries


“These items can come to our Household Hazardous Waste Collection sites for free disposal. We have four locations around the county to best serve our residents. Our website ( has the locations and hours each site is open for dropoff.”


“These can be accepted at our electronics recycling drop-offs. Most electronics are accepted for free, but CRT TVs will be charged a fee to recycle them to recover the leaded glass that is inside.”

Here’s a fee schedule based on screen size:
•27 inches or smaller, Kent County resident with ID: $20.
•Larger than 27 inches, Kent County resident with ID: $40.
•27 inches or smaller, non-Kent County resident: $30.
•Larger than 27 inches, non-Kent County resident: $50.

Comprenew also takes cathode ray tube televisions and monitors for a fee:
•14 inches: $7.
•15 inches: $8.
•17 inches: $12.
•19 inches: $20.
•24 inches: $23.
•27 inches: $25.
•32 inches: $35.
•37 inches: $45.
•42 inches (including projection TVs): $50.


“Most thrift stores will accept clothes and textiles for reuse or repurpose.”

Also, if you’re feeling crafty, go to Pinterest, which has dozens of ideas for repurposing, reusing and recycling fabrics.


“These can be a little tricky. Magazines can go in your recycle bin as is. Books that contain a hard cover or thick binding can be a little troublesome. The best way is to tear the cover and the binding off and recycle the paper.”

For more about Kent County’s recycling program, go to .

For more about on what can be recycled, send your questions to .

Return to top of page.



Nov. 2015 until April 2016 Walk-in Drop off hours :
GRAND RAPIDS - 1500 Scribner NW - Wednesday 8:00am till 10:00am
ROCKFORD - 2908 Ten Mile RD NE - Friday 8:30am till 10:30am
KENTWOOD - 5068 Breton SE - Tuesdays 3:30pm till 5:30pm

By Appointment Only Drop Off Sites:

WYOMING - 2350 Ivanrest SW - 616-261-3564

Return to top of page.

More and more cities and business are starting disposal programs.

East Grand Rapids, Some Spartan Stores, and Grandville have recently started prescription drug drop-off programs. If you have prescription medications and over-the-counter medications left over, unwanted, expired, or from a deceased loved one you can safely dispose of them. PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH THEM DOWN THE DRAIN! ! That is the wrong way to dispose of drugs!

Here are some of the cities and business that are participating in keeping drugs out of our water supply:

Participating Spartan Stores - G.R. Press article.

East Grand Rapids - G.R. Press artical.

City Of Wyoming – 616-261-3564 or Wyoming web site / Medicinal Waste

City of Grandville - In the Police Station. Link to Grandville web site Info desk.

If you don't see a participating disposal site near you, call your city or local pharmacy and ask.

If there is no program near you :
1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
2. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
3. Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag.
4. Place the sealed container with the mixture, and the empty drug containers, in the trash.
Federal Guidelines for Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs

Other sites for more information:

FDA Drug Disposal Recommendations

Dispose My Meds.Org

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Local Contacts (Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste)

Return to top of page.

Target Offers Customers Easy Way To Recycle

Target is now offering customers limited in-store recycling of plastic bags, glass, plastic, aluminum, ink cartridges, and small consumer electronics. Click to read the Grand Rapids Press article.

Return to top of page.


Please call your favorite HD store for details. Store Locator

Return to top of page.

Kent Counties Guide to Waste Management Options and Alternatives


Kent County Residential Recycling Drop Off Sites:

mapDepartment of Public Works
322 Bartlett SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 336-4360
Operating hours are:
Monday – Friday
8:00AM – 4:30PM.

Materials Processed for Recycling :
Paper; corrugated board; steel food and beverage cans; aluminum cans and foil products; glass bottles and jars; plastic; batteries; and electronics.

North Kent Recycle and Transfer Station
2908 Ten Mile Road,
Rockford, Michigan
(616) 866-5070
7:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday

Kentwood Recycle Center
5068 Breton SE
Kentwood, Michigan
(616) 336-2570
7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday

Return to top of page.

Battery Recycling:

Batteries Plus
3031 28th Street SE
Kentwood, Michigan 49512

386 Bay Park Drive
Holland, Michigan

5228 S. Westnedge Ave
Portage, Michigan

3575 Alpine Ave NW
Walker, MI 49544
Click here for the Batteries Plus store locator in Michigan.

Kent District Library Branches
All but three of KDL’s eighteen branch libraries offer battery-recycling services (The Caledonia, Tyrone Twp. and Wyoming branch DO NOT offer this service). Branches offering this service include the Alpine, Alto, Byron Twp., Cascade (24-hr drop-off), Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Englehardt, Gaines Twp., Grandville, Kentwood, Krause Memorial, Plainfield, Sand Lake, Spencer Twp., and Walker branches.

Home Depot
Rechargeable batteries only.
Please call your favorite HD store for details. Store Locator

Kent County Residential Recycling Drop Off Sites (see above)

Return to top of page.

Curb Side Household Recycling Pickup Services:

City of Grand Rapids Recycling and Refuse Info.

Almost every residential “Rubbish & Garbage Removal” service has a fee for their recycling program. For a complete listing, please look in your phone book or Here are companies THEINFOPAGE.NET has confirmed to offer Residential Curb Side Pickup:

Allied Waste
1-877-698-7274 Allied Waste

Bob’s Disposal Inc.
7748 S. Division
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548
Must be Trash removal customer.

Duncan Disposal Service LLC
2785 McGuire Ave
Grand Rapids, Michigan

2685 Edward St.
Georgetown Township, Michigan

Red Creek Waste Services
PO Box 338
Ada, Michigan 49301
616-682-2806 or 1-877-682-2806

Waste Management

Return to top of page.


NO CARDBOARD OR CORRUGATED PAPER OF ANY KIND PLEASE ! ! Paper Gators are located at many schools and churches. They take newspaper, office paper, magazines, and phone books.

Nu-Wool Insulation
2472 Port Sheldon Road
Georgetown Township, Michigan 49426
They take newspaper, office paper, and phone books.

Nu-Wool supports Habitat for Humanity!!

Return to top of page.

To report a DEAD LINK

free hit counters
free hit counters