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Paper cups, pizza boxes, plastic bags: What’s recyclable and what’s not in Michigan?

Gov. Rick Snyder was in Dundee today talking about expanding recycling, which got us thinking: do you know what you can and can’t recycle in Michigan?

We stopped at a bus stop in Ann Arbor and a truck stop near Chelsea to hear from some Michiganders. Here’s what they had to say:

There’s a lot of confusion about what kind of stuff is recyclable and what's not. It’s a serious issue.

That’s why we decided to play a little game host Lester Graham likes to call The Trash is Right.

The Trash is Right: Are these items recyclable, or not?

Joining Stateside to play The Trash is Right was Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition. Listen below to hear her tell Lester which of the listed items are recyclable, and which are not.

To play yourself, write down your answers and listen below to check them.

  • Paper cups
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic silverware
  • Individual plastic shopping bags
  • Plastic straws
  • Keurig cups
  • Paper towels
  • Canvas topped tennis shoes
  • Paper napkins
  • Wrapping paper
  • Pizza boxes
  • Red solo cups
  • Blue solo cups

Laura Gossiaux is the most recent participant in our MI Curious project, where you ask the questions and we do our best to find the answers. Here’s what she asked us:

“What happens to my commingled recyclables? And if I accidently include things that aren’t recyclable, what happens?”

Listen below to hear O'Brien explain.

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