Collection bins for metal and glass — but not ceramic — are now available to the public for limited days and hours at the Sterling Heights recycling drop-off center along Clinton River Road.

Collection bins for metal and glass — but not ceramic — are now available to the public for limited days and hours at the Sterling Heights recycling drop-off center along Clinton River Road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Drop-off recycling returns after pandemic reopenings

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published July 2, 2020

 Plastic containers are collected at the recycling center.

Plastic containers are collected at the recycling center.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Following the reopening of many Sterling Heights city buildings, residents are beginning to reuse the service of drop-off recycling within the city, according to the city’s Department of Public Works.

DPW Director Michael Moore said in late June that, so far, people are visiting the city’s sole drop-off site, located near Farmstead Park.

“I think it’s a little early to tell right now, as far as volume, being that it’s only been a couple of weeks,” he said. “We do have one remaining recycling center open on Clinton River Road now, and that site has been very busy.”

However, the facility is adapting to a coronavirus world, and part of that means having to be choosier about what sort of materials the city accepts.

“As far as COVID goes, it would be safe to say that staff is on-site to ensure social distancing measures are complied with,” he said. “And by doing so, we are only allowing a small amount of cars into the center at a time.

“We now check driver’s licenses to confirm that residents are all from Sterling Heights,” he said. “Thus far, we’ve already turned away 109 nonresidents. And we also inspect the materials coming into the center prior to them being dropped off. We’ve turned down 27 loads of unacceptable material (since) the day we opened, June 10.”

Moore said the Clinton River Road drop-off center accepts paper, cardboard, plastic, tin and glass items. A more specific list of materials may be found on the city’s recycling program webpage.

However, items like motor oil, furniture and yard waste will not be accepted, Moore said.

Moore said the reduced hours and a concentration of the program mean that recycling is more efficient, and less of the recycled materials are spoiled by unacceptable waste.

“Now that we’re inspecting materials before they’re coming into the center, we have severely reduced the amount of recycling contamination,” he said. “The previous operation was 24/7-365. Now with hours of operation and staff on hand, we can ascertain what items are acceptable and what are not.”

Moore said the city’s curbside recycling program, run by GFL Environmental Inc., neither stopped nor slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a text message, Mayor Michael Taylor said he wants to see more happen with Sterling Heights’ commitment to recycling.

“Sterling Heights is lagging behind other communities that provide universal curbside recycling,” he said. “My hope is that the council takes this up sometime in the near future to provide every resident with a recycling cart.”

The Sterling Heights Clinton River Road drop-off recycling site is located at 12260 Clinton River Road in Sterling Heights. Its hours of operation are 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Find out more about the city’s recycling program by visiting www.sterling-heights.net/219/Recycling or by calling (586) 446-2440.

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