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City Blog

Nov 17

Mayor signs Recycling Month 2021 proclamation

Posted on November 17, 2021 at 10:05 AM by Jessica VanderKolk

Whereas, recycling inspires an appreciation of the world's natural resources through conservation and protection; and

Whereas, we are interconnected to all other forms of life and the environment on which we all depend and have a renewed commitment to environmental stewardship and to the implementation of sustainability efforts; and

Whereas, the global community now faces extraordinary challenges, such as global health crisis, environmental degradation, climate change, food and water shortages; and

Whereas, it is understood that the citizens of the global community must step forward and take action to create immediate positive environmental change to combat the aforementioned global challenges; and

Whereas, on Nov. 15, 2011, President Barack Obama proclaimed we have "an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable strides we have made in the pursuit of sustainability, and to challenge ourselves to do even more. As we rise to meet this challenge, we fulfill a promise to our children that they will inherit a world more beautiful and prosperous than the one we received;" and

Whereas, the City of Battle Creek and its residents are encouraged to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle whenever possible and implement practices designed to preserve and protect our environment for the present and future generations; 

Now, therefore, I, Mark A. Behnke, Mayor of the City of Battle Creek, Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as Recycling Month in the greater Battle Creek area and urge all residents, businesses, and institutions to use Recycling Month to implement practices that will promote conservation and protection of our natural resources.

Recycling Month 2021 proclamation

Nov 01

BC celebrates America Recycles Day all November long

Posted on November 1, 2021 at 6:26 PM by Jessica VanderKolk

America Recycles Day is Nov. 15, and the City of Battle Creek has gone one step further, proclaiming November 2021 Recycling Month.

During November, the City of Battle Creek will promote recycling by hosting a recycling poster contest with local elementary schools, posting recycling tips on the city’s and the Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partners Facebook pages, and publishing articles in the local paper.

From April to September 2021, Battle Creek neighbors diverted 660 tons of materials from the landfill through the city’s curbside recycling program. This equates to a football field filled five feet deep with recyclables. That’s a lot of recyclables! The volume of garbage collected during that same time would fill a football field to 42 feet deep. That’s also a lot of trash! Currently, around 60% of the city’s eligible households are enrolled in our opt-in recycling program. Curbside recycling carts are available to all single-family households within the City of Battle Creek at no additional cost to their solid waste bills. Sign up by calling Republic Services at (269) 216-8008.

For those living in Calhoun County who do not have access to curbside recycling, Calhoun County issues free recycling program cards for the C&C Landfill Recycling Center in Marshall. Program cards are available from the individual’s home municipality or township office, or online at

The “Calhoun County Recycling Guide,” also available on the website, is a valuable resource for finding ways to recycle items not accepted curbside or at the drop-off facility.

Here are a few Battle Creek recycling reminders:

· NO pizza boxes in curbside recycling carts.

Round pizza next to a crossed out recycling symbol, says no greasy food containers, like pizza boxes

· NO plastic films (like those around paper towels and water bottles) accepted curbside or at the drop-off sites. Meijer stores will take CLEAN plastic films, plastic bags, zipper-top storage bags, cereal bags and bread bags at the drop-off area near the store entrances.

· NO plastic toys, totes, kitchen items, etc. – even if they have the recycling symbol and a number. Only food, beverage, detergent and soap containers can be recycled curbside and at the drop-off facility.

For more information, visit and, or call the City of Battle Creek Environmental Services at (269) 966-3343

Aug 03

How we handle weather emergencies - sirens

Posted on August 3, 2021 at 9:09 PM by Jessica VanderKolk

This Saturday, you will hear the monthly emergency siren test across Calhoun County. You might also remember that severe weather placed the county under a tornado warning on Saturday, June 26.

We received many questions, and 911 received calls, about why our neighbors in Battle Creek did not hear the emergency sirens activate during that June 26 warning.

Emergency siren on a pole, with blue sky background

Our Calhoun County Consolidated Dispatch Authority activates the sirens when the weather turns bad; they are in continuous contact with the National Weather Service. Since 2013, Dispatch has used an activation plan by sector – the county is divided into northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast sectors.

Dispatch activates sirens by sector, based on the location of an identified tornado, along with the travel and speed – provided by the NWS.

This means that, when all of Calhoun County is under a tornado warning, NOT all of the county’s sirens will sound. Dispatch activates the sirens in the sector where the severe weather is happening. We can do this because of how much technology and equipment have improved.

For example – if officials located a tornado in the City of Albion, tracking east, Dispatch would activate the sirens only in the NE and SE sectors. To activate the others would cause unnecessary panic in places like Battle Creek and Bedford Township, 25 miles in the opposite direction.

When the sirens sound, the audience is anyone who would hear them – especially if you are outside or in a vehicle. You might hear them from inside your hours, but not necessarily.

Please note, when the NWS issues a tornado warning, they urge those under the warning to take cover. This means moving to a basement, or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outside, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest, most sturdy shelter you can. You’ll want to protect yourself from possible flying debris in high winds.

We support that message during a tornado warning, even if you do not hear the sirens in the City of Battle Creek. The weather can change quickly, and we want neighbors to be prepared, and stay safe during stormy weather.

Please do not call 911 if you do not hear a local siren during a storm and/or warning. Calling could overwhelm the system, and impact those experiencing an emergency. There are many notification devices, apps, and news outlets to help you follow the weather.

Again, we test the sirens every monthly – you should hear them sound at 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month. This helps us make sure the sirens are all working properly, and gives us a chance to fix any problems. There was one siren that malfunctioned during the June 5 test, and it worked properly again before the recent severe weather.

Some of this information, and more, is available on the CCCDA website. For the siren information, under Information, visit Siren Map. 

Calhoun County emergency siren location list

Calhoun County emergency siren sector map