Recycling inspectors will search through, tag residential carts in Ann Arbor this summer

Program aims to improve recycling quality through resident education

Items inside recycling cart. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – The City of Ann Arbor will take part in the national Feet on the Street campaign this summer to educate residents about best recycling practices.

In phase one of the project, residents living in single-family homes can expect to receive a series of educational postcards to arrive in the mail with tips to improve single-stream curbside recycling. Then, from July 11-Aug. 5, cart tagging staff will make their way through neighborhoods and will look inside recycling carts on the curb before they are picked up.

Team members will be wearing high visibility vests and will tag carts will an orange “oops” sticker with clear instructions on how to fix recycling mistakes.

Feet on the Street encourages residents to recycle the following items:

  • Paper and cartons
  • Cardboard
  • Metal items such as cans
  • Plastic bottles, jars and jugs
  • Glass bottles and jars

Residents are urged to not recycle the following items:

  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap
  • Cords, hoses or chains
  • Yard waste
  • Food or liquids

If upon a repeat visit carts are found to again have material inside that is not recyclable, the inspectors will place a red tag on the cart and it will not be serviced until the contaminated items are removed.

The initiative by the City of Ann Arbor Public Works and Office of Sustainability and Innovation is funded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and will be completed with help from The Recycling Partnership, the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA), Recycle Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.

The Recycling Partnership has launched the program in more than 70 cities and towns around the U.S. and some communities reported a 57% drop in nonrecyclables in carts.

Have questions about the program? Email City of Ann Arbor Customer Service at or call 734-994-7336.

For more information about the campaign, visit