Solid Waste, Recycling & Yard Waste


Solid Waste & Recycling Service


~Residential Reference Guide~

August 1, 2018 through July 31, 2021





October 2019

As a reminder, the purpose of this newsletter is to provide you with updates on service delays related to holidays or weather, as well as educational resources and information for you to share with your residents via newsletter, website, Facebook page, etc. If you'd like to provide any feedback, please contact Charles Hauser by email at or by phone at 517-371-9775.

Captain Curby Turned 36!
  • Our beloved mascot Captain Curby turned 36 on September 15.
  • Captain Curby has been making kids and families smile since 1983.
  • Curby’s story began 36 years ago, on September 15, 1983, and like many wonderful things, he started as a great idea. At this point, Granger had already been serving the greater Lansing area for nearly 20 years. Former CEO Brent Granger was looking for a way to differentiate Granger from competitors and provide even better service to Granger customers. That’s when Granger became the first trash collector in the Lansing area to offer service with a rolling cart. The new carts held 90 gallons of trash and were called Captain CurbySM or Curby carts.

Looking Ahead into 2020: Community Clean-ups

  • Our sales team is preparing for 2020 and starting to set dates for spring, summer and fall community clean-ups.
  • To get information on dates and how to set up a clean-up please contact one of our sales representatives today at 517-372-2800.
Updates from Our Blog & More
Associate Appreciation Week
Focused on Service: Granger associates provide great service to our customers and we wanted to show them how much we appreciate them for that. During the week of September 16, we spent the day in each our regions (Lansing, Jackson, Alma and Cedar Springs) enjoying food, games and great stories with our wonderful associates.

It was a great week as many of our garbage men and women talked about their experiences with customers and what service means to them. They all felt that it was very important to take time to get to know customers and understand them, regardless of whether they spoke to them on route or over the phone.

One of our drivers mentioned he enjoys taking a few minutes on his route to assist an elderly woman by rolling her cart to her house. During this time she will often meet him by the door and ask how he is doing. By now they know each other well and the time spent helping out has been well worth it.

One of our customer service representatives said, "service is my middle name." She believes it is important to listen and treat others how you wish to be treated. She also mentioned that it is important to talk with a smile on your face because it can be felt through the phone.

We are very thankful for our great associates and how much effort they put into giving our customers the best possible experience. If you see our associates, give them a wave and smile; they will return it!
Not Sure What to Recycle? Here are a few places that can help

  • The State of Michigan began a Recycling Raccoon Squad campaign earlier this year designed to help us all recycle better. See if it can help yourself and others at
Household Recycling: Pantry Edition
Continuing our series that gives practical and real examples of things you can recycle throughout your house, we take a visit to the pantry. And the name of the game with pantry recycling is EMPTY. Regardless of what the container is made of, all food items must be removed before it can be recycled. […]

What You Should Know about Disposing of Aerosol Cans
Please note that the information contained in this post refers to aerosol can waste generated in a household setting, not in businesses or industry. You probably have several aerosol cans in your house, garage or shed. They can contain products like whipped cream, spray paint, hairspray and bug spray. When they’re empty, you may not […]

Industry Updates
News & More Related to the Solid Waste/Recycling Industry
San Francisco Receives First of 80 Smart Trash Cans
Here is an interesting article relating to new waste technology. These smart cans compact waste to allow for more space and no overflow. The cans are solar powered and can communicate with city employees. Click below to read about these new containers.



The City of Ithaca contracts with Granger to provide a number of important solid waste and recycling services to our residential customers (one- & two-family residential households only.)  The contract was renewed for another three-year period through July 31, 2021.  Granger is the only service provider licensed in Ithaca for residential services.  Because the City combines all residential collections in town with one contractor, the economy of scale allows for a wide variety of services at the lowest possible cost.


SETTING UP NEW SERVICE: Contact Granger directly at 1-888-947-2643 or at to set up your account.  Customers with questions about service, billing, collections, etc. should contact Granger, not City Hall.  However, if after attempting to address an issue you do not feel that you were treated properly by Granger staff, then please contact City Hall at 989-875-3200 and we will attempt to assist you with your concerns.


NEW “RECYLCLE COACH” NOW AVAILABLE: Granger and the City have teamed up to offer a new “app” that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet.  The app puts the City’s complete trash & recycling program at your fingertips.  With this free app, you can:

·         Sign up for pickup reminders

·         Download a personalized collection calendar

·         Quickly reference acceptance guidelines for refuse & recyclable materials

·         Read about options for disposal of batteries, paint, brush, Christmas trees, fall leaves and more.

The app is available for download at the Apple App Store or on Google Play.  It can also be accessed online at the following link: Ithaca Recycle Coach App 


Collections in Ithaca are weekly every Friday, unless a major holiday (New Years, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving & Christmas) falls on a weekday.  If so, then collections are postponed to Saturday.  (If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the collection schedule will not change.)  All items must be at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on collection day to ensure pickup.


REFUSE COLLECTION: Granger supplies all eligible residential customers with a 95-gallon brown “Curby” cart for solid waste (also called refuse, garbage or trash.)  Customers with more waste than will fit into one Curby cart can now contract with Granger for an additional cart at the same monthly cost ($10.00) as the original cart.  Guidelines for the disposal of solid waste are as follows:



      Open, empty or used beverage containers (with a deposit)

      Whole car or truck tires (scrap tires)

      Grass clippings, leaves, brush or other yard waste

      Used oil (Oil filters must be drained for 24 hours before being placed in trash)

      Car or truck batteries

      Oil-based paint (Latex paint is allowed, but only if dried)

      Refrigerants/Freon (must be properly removed from appliances prior to disposal)

      Empty drums (unless clean and crushed)

      Explosives, ammunition or firearms

      Propane or other compressed gas tanks (unless empty and disabled)


RECYCLING COLLECTION: The City’s recycling collection program is often referred to as “single-stream” or “comingled” recycling.  This means that all recyclables go into your blue bag together and do not need to be sorted.  Blue recycling bags are then separated from trash bags once the truck returns to Granger’s Alma facility.  Recyclable materials are later sorted at a single-stream processing facility, currently in Traverse City.  Guidelines for proper recycling are available at this link: Recycling Guidelines.


Granger provides customers with one box of fifty 30-gallon blue recycling bags for use each year.  All acceptable recyclable materials may be combined in each blue bag and placed either next to or in the 95-gallon Curby cart.  Granger now offers additional boxes of blue bags available for sale directly to customers, dropping them off at the customer’s address on Friday collection days, and billing the customer through their regular Granger quarterly invoicing program.  Cost of boxes is $11.00.


OPTIONS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS: Seniors (60 or older) are given an option of either the Curby cart or the use of a bag-tag.  The tag system requires one tag on your own 30-gallon trash container or trash bag (larger bags or containers require additional tags).  Seniors who choose to recycle will be provided one box of blue recycling bags each year.  Weekly curbside pickup of trash and recycling would require one tag per each bag.  Each tag costs $1.90 and are available at Ric's Food Center or at Ithaca City Hall.  Tags are available to Senior Residents only.



Residents have the option for disposal of large items.  One qualified item, per household, will be collected at no charge on the first Friday of each month.  Residents are responsible for having freon removed from refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. prior to pick up.  Items will not be picked up unless they have a sticker certifying that the freon has been removed.


Qualified large items include, but are not limited to: furniture (table, end table, lazy boy chair, sofa, love seat, ottoman), vacuum, mattress and boxspring, door, carpet (2’ diameter, 4’ length), push lawn mower, appliance, toilet, vanity, sink, air conditioner, eaves/downspouts (bound in 2’ diameter bundles, 4’ length), etc.


YARD WASTE DISPOSAL: Michigan law no longer permits the disposal of yard waste in sanitary landfills.  Compostable materials such as grass clippings, leaves, brush and other yard waste cannot be deposited in your Curby cart or any refuse bag.  The City does offer City residents the option to dispose of these materials at the City’s yard waste and brush drop-off site at the east end of Meadow Lane (just south of the railroad tracks off of Saint Johns Street) on the City’s wastewater (sewer) treatment plant site.  There are two separate piles: one for yard waste and one for brush.


BRUSH DISPOSAL POLICY (APRIL - NOVEMBER): For your convenience, the City operates a site that is dedicated to disposal of brush at the yard waste drop-off site as noted above.  The site is open to residents of the City of Ithaca only and is run on the honor system.  Only trimmings from trees, shrubs and bushes are permitted (no larger than 4” in diameter, and no stumps or rootballs).  The use of the brush drop-off site is limited to private residences and small projects.  Tree removal contractors and yard maintenance companies are not permitted to use this disposal site.  Please do not mix in other yard waste with the brush; there are two separate disposal piles.  To dispose of larger-sized brush & tree limbs, please contact a private hauler.


FALL LEAF COLLECTION: The Curbside Bulk Leaf Collection Program generally begins on the 3rd Monday of October and continues for approximately five weeks, weather depending.  Residents should rake their leaves to the edge of the curbline, or gravel/paved edge of the road, but not into the street.  Please do not place them along the curb or road until the night before your scheduled pickup day, as noted in the collection guidelines at the following link: Fall Leaf Collection Program.  As a reminder, no other yardwaste is permitted in the piles with your leaves.  This includes tree limbs, brush, bush trimmings, grass, cut flowers, plants, rootballs, etc.


CHRISTMAS TREE COLLECTION (DECEMBER - JANUARY): Natural trees must be no longer than 8’ (eight feet) or must be cut in half and placed at the curb for pickup on Friday mornings in late December and all of January.  Residents may dispose of trees later than January by transporting to the City’s brush pile at the wastewater treatment plant site at the end of Meadow Lane.


BATTERY DISPOSAL OPTIONS: Battery recycling is no longer available at City Hall due to safety and logistical issues.

·         Today’s alkaline batteries do not contain the hazardous chemicals that used to be present in them.  It is safe (and legal) to dispose of them with regular household refuse.

·         When disposing of 9-volt batteries in the trash, they should be placed in a plastic bag to keep them separated from other trash and tape should be placed over the terminals.  In rare cases, these batteries can cause fires if not handled carefully.

·         Alkaline batteries may be recycled by other programs, but due to their low metal content, recycling programs are difficult to find, and, in many cases, there is a charge to recycle them (or pay postage to send them to a recycler.)

·         Residents should consider switching to rechargeable lithium-ion or nickel-metal-hydride batteries, which can last 2-3 years and can often be recycled.

·         Residents can recycle small household rechargeable batteries at Tractor Supply Co. (1501 E. Washington Rd.) and large rechargeable batteries (power tools, yard maintenance equipment, etc.) can be recycled at Home Depot in Mt. Pleasant.

·         “Batteries + Bulbs” in Mt. Pleasant (706 N Mission St.) recycles the majority of batteries they sell.  They accept the following batteries:

o    Lead acid (Pb) Batteries - Cars, trucks and emergency lighting

o    Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries - Cordless phones, tools and 2-way radios

o    Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries – Camcorders and cameras

o    Lithium Ion (Li Ion) & Lithium Polymer (Li Poly) - Cell phones and laptops


LIGHTBULB DISPOSAL OPTIONS: “Batteries + Bulbs” also recycles the following light bulbs (fees may apply):

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent Tubes

Circular Fluorescent

U Bend Fluorescent

Plastic Coated and Shatter Shields

Spot/Flood Lamps

UV and Germicidal Lamps



Cold Cathode

Metal Halide

High Pressure Sodium

Mercury Vapor



PAINT DISPOSAL OPTIONS: Paint disposal doesn’t seem like it should be complicated, but it can be.  Not only is it messy, more importantly, it can be hazardous.  The following are options homeowners should consider when attempting to dispose of and/or recycle paints:

·         Granger cannot accept leftover liquid paint, stain or finish of any kind, be it latex (water-based or acrylic) or oil-based (alkyd).

·         Paint or stain of any kind that is in good condition can be donated to various charities (churches, schools, theater groups, etc.) for reuse or for blending with other paints.

·         Empty & dry steel cans & plastic bottles from latex-based paints should be placed in the trash with lids off and not recycled.

·         Empty & dry steel cans & plastic bottles from oil-based paints should not be placed in the trash and not recycled.  They should be disposed of at a household hazardous waste location site or event.

·         Small amounts of latex-based paints can be poured into absorbent material such as cat litter, shredded paper or sawdust & left to dry, with the dry material disposed of in regular refuse containers.  Or, the latex paint can be left to dry in the paint container with the lid off, and then disposed of with the trash.





Revision date: July 12, 2019
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