Auburn Hills Recycling and Tagging Program

Maintaining a clean stream of recycling can often be just as important as recycling itself. In 2019, the City of Auburn Hills was awarded a grant from The Recycling Partnership to do just that. Through education and outreach Auburn Hills, along with The Recycling Partnership, will work to clean-up the City’s recycling stream. In conjunction with Waste Management, City Staff will start tagging recycling containers with non-recyclables, notifying Waste Management to leave that tagged, recycling bin at the curb.

Why is this important? While most of the recycling process is automated, workers must hand sort through materials because there are non-recyclable items contained in the mix, commonly plastic bags. If something is missed, like a plastic bag for example, it can jam the equipment and cause significant damage.

What will this program look like? Beginning Thursday, April 15th going through Thursday, May 13th, select City Staff will set out in the streets of Auburn Hills, ahead of the Waste Management truck, and assess resident’s recycling containers to determine if there are non-recyclable materials in each container. If it is determined that there are non-recyclable materials in the container, then City Staff will slap a removable “OOPS” tag on the container, alerting Waste Management to leave the container along the curb. The “OOPS” tag will look like this:

Will the City of Auburn Hills be digging through my trash and recycling? No, City Staff has been directed to simply lift the lid of the recycling container and identify contaminants without rummaging or touching anything else.

When in doubt, reach out! If you have any questions regarding The Recycling Partnership Grant Program, please reach out to our DPW at (248) 391-3777. For additional information please visit,

Andrew Hagge, Management Assistant, City Manager’s Office

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