Garbage & Recycling

Weekly Schedule

Residential garbage is picked up each Friday morning. Your garbage should be out by 6 am for pickup. Onota Township has a contract with Great American Disposal (GAD). Please follow their regulations Leave site.

GAD observes national holidays Leave site, and garbage pickup runs one day behind during a holiday week. For our area, this means garbage is sometimes picked up on Saturday instead of Friday. If M-28 closes due to inclement weather, this may also delay garbage pickup.

Township Dumpsters

Onota dumpsters
Township hall dumpsters

Onota Township has 2 large dumpsters on township property for residents living in locations without garbage pickup. These dumpsters are for household garbage only.


(1) Please respect the township property. Do not leave large items (furniture, appliances), liquid waste, construction debris, or anything prohibited by GAD. Disposing of these types of items is an added expense to all taxpayers, which may lead to increased taxes for garbage, cancellation of the dumpster service, and other consequences.

(2) Follow the regulations Leave site from GAD.

(3) Please do not leave items sitting outside of the dumpsters. If you have furniture or appliances to dispose of, please see the ‘large items’ section below for options.

(4) If the dumpster lids are clipped and bolted shut: these are designed to keep bears and animals out. This keeps the property clean and keeps both people & animals safe. Please re-secure them when done using the dumpsters.

(5) When the dumpsters are full, please wait until they are empty again to add your trash. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping this service available.

(6) If you have used motor oil to dispose of, please see this list of used oil collection sites PDF file in Marquette and Alger Counties. Please contact these locations beforehand to be sure they are still participating in the collection program. This information is provided as a resource only.


Great American Disposal and the Wood Island landfill claim they will offer curbside reycling services starting in 2021 (source). Until that time, they will be starting a drop-off recycling program at the landfill, at a cost of $3.00 per drop-off (as of Nov 2020, subject to change).

North Country Disposal ended their trial program of curbside recycling in Alger County due to financial unsustainability from lack of participation and support by local municipalities.

Large Items

Dumpster Rolloffs

onota township
Onota Township dumpster rolloffs

A roll-off dumpster event (large item disposal) for residents and landowners is held once per year (usually Friday and Saturday during the third week of September, from 10 am-4 pm). It is typically held at the gravel pit just west of the Laughing Whitefish River bridge, on the south side of M28.

2022: event not scheduled yet

You may only bring items on scheduled days when workers are present. This property is privately owned – items cannot be left here under any other circumstances. The township is only able to use this site by requesting permission from the landowner – if there is trespassing and littering, it will lead to cancellation of this event. If you miss the event, please see “Wood Island Landfill” below for other options.

Location: O’Dovero gravel pit on the south side of M28, just west of the Laughing Whitefish River bridge.

Directions: Drive south, past the gate toward the gravel pit. You will see a small group of people. Please stop when a worker approaches you to verify residency and give instructions. Tires typically go in a separate, smaller dumpster. All other items go in the large dumpsters, unless workers direct you to do otherwise. See below for examples of items you can or cannot bring.

If you have an item you are unsure about after reviewing the lists, contact the township supervisor.

Acceptable items include (but are not limited to): rubber tires (no wheel/rim), old toys, clothing, scrap metal, refrigerators or freezers*, TV sets, old computers, furniture, bikes, toilets, sinks, water heaters, dry and empty metal drums, air conditioners*, metal cabinets, appliances, mattresses, box springs, furniture, books, magazines, and many other household items.

*Note: Refrigerant/freon MUST have been removed from all cooling appliances prior to drop off.

Prohibited items: all liquids, construction material, building debris, roofing material, concrete, brick, masonry/stone, paint cans, brush, yard waste or leaves, ashes, all chemicals (engine coolant, petroleum products, pesticides, etc), fuel tanks, propane tanks, fluorescent tubes, closed barrels or drums, biological waste or biohazards, industrial waste, insulation, anything containing asbestos, radioactive items/material. No hazardous waste.

Volunteers: This event is only possible with the help of community members. Workers assist residents with unloading items. Food is provided. If you would like to volunteer to help with this event, please contact the township supervisor (906-343-6759). Thank you to everyone who has helped in the past!

Wood Island Landfill

Large items may be brought to the Wood Island Landfill Leave site at your expense. Hours are normally M-F 8 am-4 pm (call to verify). The site is operated by Great American Disposal . It is located at E10081 on M28 near Wetmore. For more info, contact them at (906)387-2646.