Waste Management

Curbside Recycling Services

Curbside mixed recycling is offered to residents free of charge via Southeast Oakland County Resource Recovery Association (SOCRRA). To participate, simply purchase a recycling cart from the Department of Public Works and set it at the curb on your regular garbage pickup day. 

What you can put in your recycling cart:

  • Bottles and jars—any color
  • Plastics—food containers, detergent bottles, cat litter buckets, shampoo bottles, and more
  • Paper-based food and beverage boxes—milk cartons, juice boxes, and paper cups
  • Metals—cans, small scrap items, foils, and more
  • Paper—newspapers, magazines, catalogs, paperback books, and more
  • Cardboard (unfolded, flattened, and bundled)

SOCRRA is now a mixed recycling facility, which means that sorting is not required. For more about accepted items and preparation guidelines, visit SOCRRA

WHY RECYCLE? Recycling costs less than landfill dumping. By recycling, we divert material from entering our landfills. It also provides a rebate on the amount of recycled material, lowering overall costs for the City, residents, and businesses. Not to mention all the feel-goods you get by helping preserve our environment.

Drop-off Center

The SOCRRA drop-off center is open and free to the public by appointment only. The drop-off center accepts all mixed recycling items, cardboard (please flatten the boxes!), metal scraps, styrofoam (no packing peanuts), plastic bags, plastic wrap, hard cover books, bottle caps, clothes, and shoes. They also accept household hazardous waste and electronics.

Also available to residents is a self-service paper shredder. Hours of operation for paper shredding are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Yard Waste & Compost

Composting has so many benefits for the environment and your garden, including: keeping food waste from going to the landfill and releasing greenhouse gases, enriching the soil, making a healthy end product that is full of nutrients, thus reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, and holding moisture in the soil, so you can water your garden less. There is no one right way to compost! The systems available have different costs and benefits, but all can be successful.


  1. Keep a container in the kitchen to collect scraps. When the container is full, empty it into your compost pile or tumbler.
  2. Prepare your “ingredients” - cutting, chopping, and crunching food scraps will increase their surface area and speed up decomposition.
  3. Finished compost is dark brown and crumbly. There will be no recognizable food waste left, and no foul odors will be present.

Greens vs. Browns: It's all about balance.

  • Greens (nitrogen) + Browns (carbon) + Water (keep the pile moist, but not soggy) + Time = Nutritious compost that is ready to add to your garden and feed your plants
  • Greens: moist, nitrogen-rich items like food scraps, eggshells, grass clippings, coffee grounds, etc.
  • Browns: dry, carbon-rich items like leaves, straw, dead plant clippings, newspaper, sawdust, wood chips, soiled napkins, and paper plates
  • Adding alternate layers of brown and green material is best. The brown layer should be twice as thick as the green layer with no food showing.
  • Be sure not to add any dairy, meat scraps, fats and oils, or animal waste.
  • Remember, a pile of only food waste will not break down into compost. Instead, it will rot, attracting pests and releasing odors. Adding more browns than greens will ensure a balanced pile that will break down properly.

Having trouble balancing your compost pile? Check out our Troubleshooting Table.

Did you know that you can throw your light kitchen waste in with your yard waste? Through SOCRRA's curbside yard waste pick-up you can throw in your kitchen waste items such as fruit and vegetable scraps— peels, rinds, seeds, nuts, or other byproducts. You can also include clean fill dirt, potting soil, garden soil, wood shavings and ash, and untreated wood. For a full list, check out this guide. To comply with Ferndale City Ordinance, compost piles shall not exceed four feet by eight feet or six feet in diameter and four feet in height.

Through the yard waste program, SOCRRA provides free compost for all Ferndale residents. Look for the compost piles throughout the City at these locations:

The City has also launched a Compost Pilot Program for residents and businesses. Visit the Compost Pilot Program page to learn how to get involved.

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

SOCRRA's Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Center is open 6 days a week. Drop-Off Center is located at 995 Coolidge, Troy, MI (between 14 Mile and Maple).

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Looking for waste information at the State level? Check out the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) website. Here is a fun video they created on recycling.

Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study


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