NOTICE 4/5/2024 @ 7:30am: North Kent Waste & Recycling Center is in the final stretch of its expansion construction. Our recycling drop-off stations at this site have been temporarily moved — click here for the details. Stay tuned here on our website or our social media for updates!

How can Kent County Department of Public Works help?

Explore the waste stream options below for how you can reuse, recycle, compost, or dispose of the item you are trying to get rid of through a KCDPW facility or service.

Donate or Reuse
Compost
Recycling
Special Collection Recycling
Proper Disposal
Trash

If your flag is still in great shape and you just don’t have a use for it anymore, consider donating or repurposing it! Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, Craigslist, or your local BuyNothing Project group are all great places to give away items.

Check out some of the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that accept donations or items for reuse/resale.

Additionally, a quick internet search can provide you with great DIY ideas on how to repurpose that textile item!

Most flags cannot be composted due to being made of a mix of man-made materials like nylon or polyester or other plastic-based fabrics.

Similar to clothing and textiles, flags,  SHOULD NEVER go in your curbside recycling cart or in our recycling drop-off stations.

Due to their flexible nature, flags, clothing, fashion items, and other textiles can wrap around sorting equipment, clog machines, and tangle up other recyclables preventing them from getting sorted and recycled at all.

While many places advertise that they “recycle” flags or clothing, or other fashion items, what most of them really mean is reuse or repurpose through donation or resale. But the “R” of reuse is better than recycling so if your flag is still in decent shape, be sure to get it into the hands of someone who can repurpose it or use it as is(see the “Reuse tab” for options).

However, the emerging technology of textile recycling is slowly coming online. Some companies have collaborated on recycling take-back programs on certain textiles; connect with the manufacturer of the flag to see if they have any options.

Check out some of the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that accept donations or recycling.

Flags do not contain hazardous waste however the United States of America does have specific procedures on how to dispose of the nation’s flag.

According to section 8 of title 4 of the United States Code:

“No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Please reference the Community Disposal Outlets below for any places that properly dispose of the nation’s flag.

Keeping flags, clothing, and textiles out of the landfill, when possible, and in reuse ensures we give those valuable resources a second chance at life and use!

However, if you cannot donate or repurpose your flag, this type of waste is acceptable** in your trash or can be landfilled at two of Kent County Department of Public Work’s facilities for a fee:

North Kent Waste & Recycling Center in Rockford
South Kent Waste & Recycling Center in Byron Center

The links above can provide the location address, disposal fee, and hours of service.

** The flag of the United States of America should go through proper disposal, not trash. All other flags that cannot find repurpose or reuse can be disposed of in the trash.

Community Resources

Below you will find businesses and community outlets that may accept this item/material.

Boy Scouts of America
855-940-4210

Accepts American flags for proper disposal.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Kent County Administration Building
300 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-632-7590

Accepts American flags ready for retirement.

Learn More

The American Legion
317-630-1203

Accepts American flags for proper and respectful disposal.

Multiple locations.

Learn More

Related Materials