Van Buren Township

Recycling & Waste

View the VBT Recycling Guide

Recycling Facts & Information

Please call 734-699-8926, leave a detailed message including your name, address, and phone number. A landfill pass or yard waste sticker will be mailed to you or you can pick it up the next day at Township Hall.

Yard Waste pickup BEGINS the first full week of April and ENDS the last full week of November.

Leaves and grass clippings may either be placed in paper compost bags purchased at your local grocery store or placed in a trash can with a compost sticker. Compost sticker must face the road. Do not use plastic bags!!

30 bags at curbside per week maximum!! Do not overload compost bags, and be sure to fold down the tops for easier lifting. Excess of 30 bags must be taken directly to Woodland Meadows Landfill by obtaining a Landfill Pass at the Township Hall in the Community Services Office.

If you are using a can, it must have a yard waste sticker. Face the sticker toward the street and place the container 10 feet from your garbage. It should not be any larger than a 32 gallon can. 50 lb. limit. (Limit of 30 cans per week)

Please be sure that all yard waste is set out at the curb tied and bundled, in the appropriate container, and properly labeled.

Bundle all brush whose branches are less than 6” in diameter. Bundles must not weigh more than 50 lbs. Bundles must be no longer than 4 feet in length and 18” around. Brush larger than 6” in diameter must still be bundled, however, it is considered trash and will be picked up as such.

If your trash, yard waste, or recycling is not picked up by 4:00 p.m. on your regularly scheduled day, please call (734) 699-8926.

Compost season ends the last full week in November - no compost will be taken at the curbside after that date.
Please call 734-699-8926, leave a detailed message including your name, address, and phone number. A landfill pass or yard waste sticker will be mailed to you or you can pick it up the next day at Township Hall.


Large quantities of trash or remodeling materials will NOT be picked up at the curbside. As a Van Buren Township resident, you have the option to utilize the Woodland Meadows Landfill located on the south side of Van Born Road, just west of Hannan Road (see map below). The citizen drop-off area is located on the south side or back of the site. All vehicles entering the site must check-in at the gatehouse. Landfill ll hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Guidelines for utilizing the Woodland Meadows Landfill under the Van Buren resident agreement with Waste Management are listed below:
  • You MUST obtain a free landfill punch card from the Community Services Office, located at 46425 Tyler Road in order to utilize the landfill as a Van Buren Township resident. To obtain a landfill punch card you must provide proof of residency (i.e. current driver’s license). The punch card entitles you to twenty-four (24) free trips per year. Only one card per address per year will be issued by the Township.
  • A valid photo ID with a matching address must be presented with the punch card at the time of disposal.
  • This free dumping privilege cannot be extended to contractors or commercial vendors. Commercial vehicles will be refused entry or must pay for disposal of waste.
  • Each punch on the Landfill Pass is worth up to 4 cubic yards, if over 4 cubic yards per trip the card will receive an additional punch(es) based on the size of the load. To calculate cubic yards you can use the following formula: Length (ft.) x Width (ft.) x Height (ft.) divided by 27 = cubic yards. 
  • Yard waste (compost, leaves, etc.) must be separated from household waste.
  • White goods will not be accepted at the Landfill. White goods are any appliance that does or once did contain Freon (A/C units, Refrigerators, and Dehumidifiers).
  • Scrap tire disposal is limited to eight (8) tires annually.
  • Recycling is also available at the citizen drop-off area

If you have any questions, please contact the Community Services Department at (734) 699-8926.
Recycling is a series of activities that includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers, and manufacturing raw materials into new products (EPA website).
In 2003, U.S. residents, businesses, and institutions produced more than 236 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which is approximately 4.5 pounds of waste per person per day.

One of the ways to manage MSW is by recycling. Recycling diverts items such as papers, glass, plastic, and metals from the waste stream.  Another way is by composting.

Simply, materials that are not reused, recycled, or composted—in other words, things you throw away in the dumpster—will go to the landfill and combustion facilities.

EPA has ranked the most environmentally sound strategies for MSW. Source reduction (reuse) is the most preferred method, followed by recycling and composting, and lastly disposal in combustion facilities and landfills.

According to EPA, the United States currently recovers, recycles and composts 30 percent of waste, burns 14 percent at combustion facilities, and disposes of  56 percent in landfills.

Next time when you throw away garbage, think about the time needed for the materials to ‘biodegrade’ (Biodegradation is the decomposition of organic material by microorganisms). Some materials are biodegradable, some don’t. Look at the table below:

Product Time to biodegrade
Cotton rags 1-5 months
Paper 2-5 months
Rope 3-14 months
Orange peels 6 months
Wool socks 1 to 5 years
Cigarette filters 1 to 12 years
Plastic coated paper milk cartons 5 years
Leather shoes 25 to 40 years
Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years
Tin cans 50 to 100 years
Aluminum cans 80 to 100 years
Plastic bags 450 years
Plastic 6-pack holder rings 450 years
Glass bottles 1 million years
Plastic bottles Forever
Sorting things right is an essential step towards successful recycling. This easy-to-read guide includes effective steps in sorting and disposal of common household wastes.

Recycling is one of the simplest thing we can do that would benefit the greater community, environment and economy so my team is reaching out to share this resource to as many people as possible. I believe we share this same purpose and that our guide fits right in line with your mission as an organization/agency. Check out this solid waste recycling and disposal guide by clicking here. 
Composting – Yard Waste to Yard Riches- Through the natural process of decomposition, leaves and grass clippings from your yard can be transformed into a soil-enriching substance called compost. When mixed with sandy soil, compost helps to retain and hold water. When mixed with clay soils, compost loosens the soil particles and improves drainage. Compost is known as gardener’s gold because it improves soil structure, retains water, encourages root growth, aerates the soil, releases nutrients slowly, supports beneficial microorganisms and earthworms, and suppresses some soil-borne diseases.

To build the pile, follow these steps:
  • Start with a layer of organic materials such as shredded leaves, grass, or other garden debris. For an ideal composting mix-use twice as much carbon material (leaves)as nitrogen material (grass clippings)
  • Water the layer until it is as moist as a wrung-out sponge.
  • Add 2″-3″ of soil or compost — to provide microorganisms.
  • If possible, mix all materials together as you build the pile.
  • Continue the process of adding organic materials, soil, and water until the bin is filled. Add grass clippings in small amounts and mix in thoroughly.
  • Water each layer…and check moisture periodically. Build the pile to a size of 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet or slightly larger — or fill the compost bin.

Turning the pile
Turning and mixing the compost pile with a pitchfork or compost turner adds oxygen, prevents odors, and accelerates the rate of decomposition. The pile may be turned once a week, once a month, several times a year, or not at all.  If the pile is turned over and mixed from time-to-time and kept moist, finished compost is usually available in six to nine months.

(Source: Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project)

For more information:
Compost Resource Page.
  • Michigan residents generate enough garbage each day to fill the Pontiac Silverdome.
  • The average American throws 3 – 5 pounds of trash away daily. That is one billion pounds of waste each day in the U.S.
  • Americans make up 5% of the world's population and create 50% of the world's garbage.
  • The nation's overall recycling rate has grown from 11% to 27% over the past 10 years.
  • Americans throw away enough office and writing paper annually to build a wall twelve feet high stretching from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Every Sunday in a major city, more than 500,000 trees are used to produce the Sunday newspaper
  • A ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 24 gallons of gasoline, 464 gallons of oil, and conserves 3.5 cubic yards of landfill space. Some of the end products created from plastic bottles include piping, garbage bags, park benches, t-shirts, carpet, and filling for sleeping bags and ski jackets.
  • Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
  • In Michigan, 90% of aluminum deposit cans are currently recycled.
  • Aluminum recycling is so successful the industry estimated that each can sold at an average store will be back on a store shelf within six weeks.
  • Each year, steel recycling saves enough energy to meet the electrical power needs of the City of Los Angeles for more than eight years.
  • We throw away enough iron and steel to continuously supply all the nation’s automakers.
Flying Trash Flyer
recycling right flyer