Garbage & Recycling

Weekly Schedule

garbage placement

Residential garbage is picked up each Friday morning. Onota Township has a contract with Great American Environmental Services Leave site (GAES) (previously known as Great American Disposal), under Green For Life Environmental (GFLE), its parent company.

Please follow their placement guidelines Leave site.

  • Place your trash can at the curb of the road.
  • Keep garbage cans 4 feet apart and at least 4 feet or more from any obstacles such as mailboxes, cars, posts, or power lines.
  • During the week of a holiday, trash pickup may be one day late (Saturday instead of Friday).
  • Keep your container at the curb until the next day if it hasn’t been collected. Sometimes there are unexpected schedule changes – this way you won’t be missed if arrival is later than expected.
  • It’s usually best to put your container out the night before your collection day. That way even if the truck is early, you won’t miss your pick-up time.

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 GAES. 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) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.


GAES and GFL Environmental have not yet indicated if they plan to offer recycling services in Alger County (since their purchase of GAD and the Wood Island Landfill in October 2021).

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.

Next Event: September 2024

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 permanent 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 for cost at a rate determined by weight of the item(s). Hours are normally Monday to Friday 8 am-4 pm (call to verify). The site is operated by Great American Environmental Services . It is located at E10081 on M28 near Wetmore. For more info, contact them at (906)387-2646.