City of Clare

city of clare logo with lamp post

Water, sewer, waste & recycling

The City of Clare provides water, sewer, garbage pick-up, yard waste pick-up, and curbside recycling to its residents. To start these services, please visit the City Clerk’s Office in Clare City Hall, 202 West Fifth Street. To turn on the water and sewer utilities during normal DPW service hours (8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday), there is a $30 fee, and after-hours service is $125. If you are a new renter, there will be a $240 deposit, which is refundable after 12 consecutive, on-time monthly payments. This deposit is waived only if the account is placed in your landlord’s name.

We’ve prepared a New Resident Welcome Kit for you to use as a handy guide to City services. We encourage you to print it off and refer to it as you get acquainted with our services. If you have any utility-related questions, please call Mary Warner, Utility Billing Clerk, at 989-424-4071.

As part of your monthly City of Clare Utility bill, GFL provides curbside garbage collection services to single-family residents.  Residential garbage collection is Thursday and the materials must be placed to the curb prior to 6:00 a.m.  If the GFL truck goes by your home after 6:00 a.m. and your refuse was not at the curb, they will not make a return trip to collect it.

The following regulations affect garbage pick-up:

While there is not a weekly bag limit, residents are reminded that GFL does not collect loose or boxed trash. ALL trash must be bagged.

Recycle bins are available at Clare City Hall.  Limit one recycle bin per household.

Listings for qualified bulk items and acceptable recycling items can be found here.

Appliances are picked up by appointment only.  All freon must have been removed by a licensed extractor.  Please call 989-424-4071 to schedule an appliance pickup.

Special regulations: As of November 1, 2004, Michigan communities must comply with Public Act 34 through Public Act 44 of 2004. These acts deal with what is and is not acceptable in landfills. City of Clare residents are prohibited from disposing of the following items in their weekly trash collection:

Beverage Containers 1 Gallon or Less in Size 
This includes soft drink or other carbonated beverages, soda water, mineral water, purified water, beer ale, or other malt drink of any alcoholic content, mixed wine drink, mixed spirit drink, wine coolers, etc. If a deposit was paid on a beverage container, it can be returned for a refund. If a deposit was not paid on the beverage container, the container should be recycled. If beverage containers are found in your household trash for landfill collection, the refuse will not be taken until the resident removes recyclables from the trash.

Construction Materials containing Asbestos 
Construction materials containing asbestos must be disposed of at a licensed disposal site. For information about removal of asbestos by homeowners, go to:

Construction Materials 
No construction materials may be placed at the curb with household refuse. Clare residents who have a valid building permit may contract for a dumpster to dispose of construction materials, or you may contact Northern Oaks Landfill at (989) 539-6111 to make arrangements to take your materials to the landfill yourself for a fee.

Lead Acid Batteries (Automotive Batteries)
City residents may bring used automotive batteries to the Clare Department of Public Works, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You must show proof of residency (such as a driver's license) before leaving the battery at the DPW.

Liquid Waste, Regulated Hazardous Waste, and Low-level Radioactive Waste 
Go to and select the type of waste you need to dispose of for more detailed information, or call the Environmental Assistance Center at 800/662-9278 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

Medical Waste
Residents having medical waste such as used needles and syringes should be registered with the waste hauler for collection of such items. If you have medical waste, please call Cathy at 989-424-4071, to be registered for medical waste collection. This will not raise your refuse collection charges, but it will protect the waste hauler. The needles and syringes must be placed in an empty container such as a coffee can, laundry detergent bottle, or bleach bottle. When the container is full, tape the lid down with heavy duct tape or packaging tape. Mark the container with a permanent marker to indicate "MEDICAL WASTE" or "SHARPS CONTAINER" and place with the regular household refuse.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's) 
Fluorescent light ballasts and other devices containing PCB's may never be placed to the curb. For disposal information on any devices containing PCB's, please contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 office at 312-886-7061.

When you buy new tires, the seller will often charge a small fee per tire to dispose of the old tire. We encourage you to take advantage of this service, as tires may not be taken to the landfill.

Used Motor Oil and/or Antifreeze 
City residents may bring used motor oil and/or antifreeze (please do NOT mix them) to the Clare Department of Public Works Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You must show proof of residency (such as a driver's license) before leaving the oil or antifreeze at the DPW

As part of your monthly City utility bill, the City of Clare participates in the curbside recycling program for residential units also having curbside garbage collection. Recycle bins should be placed at the curb for collection by 6:00 a.m. on Thursdays, the same as garbage collection.

For information on what types of items can be recycled, and how to prepare them, please download our Curbside Recycling Guide.

The City of Clare participates in the residential curbside yard waste collection program. Yard waste is collected on Fridays from April 1 through November 30 (barring substantial snowfall). Yard waste will not be collected if placed in plastic bags or cardboard boxes. It must be in one of the following:

Biodegradable bags-Available at the City Clerk's Office in Clare City Hall for a nominal fee.

A privately owned rigid container (trash can) that has the words “YARD WASTE ONLY” clearly painted (or otherwise permanently marked) on the side. No Yard Waste container shall ever weigh more than 35 pounds when full.

Yard Waste must be placed to the curb before 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection as drivers will only go down each street one time. When a major holiday (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day) falls on a regular working day, collection will be one day later. If the holiday falls on Sunday, it will not affect collection services.

The City also provides brush chipping service at no charge to residents. Brush chipping is strictly time & weather permitting activity. As time and weather allow, we normally begin chipping brush on the Monday of the week where the first day of the month falls. If you are unsure, you can check the listing on the Clare Government Access Channel (Charter Cable Channel 189), or refer to the latest City Newsletter or call 989/386-7541 x 201 or 202.

The City chips brush for residential properties where an existing structure is already in place. We do not chip for lot clearing. Brush to be chipped should be:

Placed at the curb before 7:00 a.m. on the first scheduled day of chipping.

Placed within 2 feet of the curb with large ends facing same direction.

Be not longer than 6' in length, nor larger than 4" in diameter.

Be in a pile not larger than 26.67 cubic yards (30 feet in length by 6 feet deep by 4 feet high).

If you have questions regarding brush chipping, have a large amount of brush to be chipped, or require chipping for a vacant lot, please call (989) 386-7541, extension 202.