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Turn Back the Clock and Recycle


Nov. 6 event to keep salvageable items from landfills

BY SARAH ELMS Oct 24, 2016
Read Full Article at the Record Eagle >

TRAVERSE CITY — Two years ago Bay Area Recycling for Charities recycled 30,000 pounds of dated television sets at the biannual Clean Up Green Up.

“It’s shocking when you actually quantify it,” said Ella Cooper-Froehlich, chair of Michigan Green Consortium.

It’s a glimpse of the amount of recyclable and reusable material collected at the community event the consortium hosts during each daylight saving time. This season 14 area companies are partnering on Nov. 6 to keep items out of area landfills.

They’ll be at American Waste’s facility at 280 Hughes Drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. collecting a wide range of items, many of which are otherwise difficult or expensive to recycle.

TC Office Express is new to the event this season and will accept ink and toner cartridges. Image 360 will take commercial signage of all types, including backlit and neon illuminated. Participants can drop off snow blowers, chainsaws, air compressors and lawn mowers with Roy’s General Store, and Team Elmer’s will be at the end of the line accepting asphalt and concrete.

“Everyone recognizes the importance of managing our waste stream. It’s an enormous problem across the United States,” Cooper-Froehlich said.

BARC will again be collecting TVs, computer monitors, mattresses and box springs, but this year they ask community members to haul those items to their facility at 1732 Barlow St. People can pick up a $10 off coupon at the American Waste facility when they drop off their other recyclables and use that coupon when they take their large items to BARC.

BARC typically charges $20 to recycle those items, but Clean Up Green Up participants can cut that cost in half.

“Being a small nonprofit, we’re pretty proud of the fact that we can take in so many hard-to-recycle items,” said Andy Gale, BARC founder and president.

Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region’s Restore will accept clean plastic grocery bags, books, screen doors, ladders, tools and clean upholstered furniture. The store will resell the items at below average prices and use the profits to help build Habitat for Humanity homes throughout Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.

“I love that we give the community an opportunity for this,” Restore Manager Donna Castor said. “It’s always a fun day and we make a lot of new contacts.”

Event organizers expect to see 1,000-1,200 carloads at American Waste on Nov. 6. There will be volunteers on site to help unload recyclable and reusable materials.

“It’s a very wonderful thing to see the volume and the groundswell of local support for this event,” Cooper-Froehlich said. “It gives us a warm feeling that this actually makes a difference.”

The consortium cannot accept dirty or broken upholstered furniture, toilets or sinks, tires, fiberglass, carpet, paint, household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides or toxic chemicals.

Visit for a complete list of accepted items and schedule.

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Mattress Recycling in Traverse City, Michigan

Responsibly dispose of your unwanted mattresses and box springs by recycling them with BARC.

Whether moving across town or across the country, or, just replacing an old worn out mattress, dealing with the nuisance of an old mattress is a challenge. Bay Area Recycling for Charities, can help you responsibly dispose of your unwanted mattress in a way that benefits both you and the environment. BARC specializes in recycling mattresses and box spring.

Throw your old bed onto the top of your car, or into a trunk, and take it over to BARC at 1732 Barlow St., in Traverse City, Michigan. For a very reasonable fee, they will take the mattress and recycle 100% of the material, preparing it for re-use. Or, also for a fee, they will come and get the old mattress and take it off your hands! If you live in a 6 county area that includes Grand Traverse, Antrim, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Benzie and Manistee, MMR will come and get it, and then recycle the mattress on your behalf. Michigan Mattress Recycling will even work with you to remove your old mattress at the same time you are getting your new one!

Over 20 million mattresses are discarded every year, just in the United States. MMR works with hospitals, hotels, dorms and retirement communities to manage the bulk recycling of hundreds of mattresses a year. This keeps a huge amount of waste out of landfills as most of the materials in a mattress will never break down. Keeping the flame retardants and formaldehyde that are in the materials of a mattress from going into the landfill and eventually leaching into the water table is important. Recycling mattresses contributes to a stream of manufacturing that makes good use of all the many components of a mattress.

Once the mattress is at BARC, it goes to the part of the warehouse that looks like something straight out of the folktale Princess and The Pea, with mattresses piled up and up! The highly trained workers in the warehouse take the mattresses apart, using saws to remove the springs from the wood in the box spring. The wood is made into chips, which have many uses, including fuel. Most mattresses have 300-500, or more, steel coils and these springs can be turned into scrap metal. The cotton and polyurethane foam from the mattress is removed and baled, to be used in many industrial situations that require textiles. The foam can be turned into underlayment for carpeting or used in the re-upholstery process. The ticking is sometimes turned into archery targets. BARC prepares the materials and then sends it on to the appropriate place in the supply chain. There are many uses for the materials that would otherwise be trash!

To schedule a pickup of a mattress or learn more about the process, call 231-360-1231

Learn more about Mattress Recycling >


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Recycle your Appliances with BARC


Did you know you can recycle your Appliances with BARC?

Cherryland Electric has made BARC a Preferred Recycler. Refrigerators need to have their freon properly discharged before they can be safely recycled. BARC takes care of this for you. Additionally Cherryland Electric offers a $60 Rebate to customers that are looking to safely dispose of their refrigerators. In fact they offer a lot of great rebates to customers that are upgrading their appliances. Learn more at the website.

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Focus Green 2020 supporter Short’s Brewing Making Antrim Greener



We had a great kickoff to our Focus Green 2020 campaign last Tuesday, and one of the people and businesses who donated were the good people of Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Michigan (and also Elk Rapids, Michigan). Short’s has shown a longtime commitment to making our region greener & cleaner along with an ability to provide significant job growth in Antrim county.

This summer they installed a new solar array to help power their Production Facility with an annual energy output of 49250 kWh. This will help supplement the energy needs of Short’s Production Facility in a big way. Approximately 7% of the energy used annually will be supplied by the solar array. This will allow Short’s Production Facility to have a clean and sustainable energy source for the next 25 years.

The production facility also minimizes pressure on the Elk Rapids waste water treatment plant by pre-treating their waste water, a process that complements other environmentally friendly practices they’ve introduced including, design and installation of tank chilling systems that minimize energy use, using brewhouse byproducts to make fuel ethanol and biogas, and the use of spent grain from both the Pub and Production Facility breweries by local farmers as fertilizer and animal feed! Short’s Brewing Company is also a supporter of the Clean Water Act headwaters rule and all-in-all a model corporate citizen helping to drive our region towards the Focus Green 2020 goal of becoming the greenest region in Michigan by the year 2020.

Hats off to Short’s, and if you’d like to join them and learn more, head over to make your pledge at:

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