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Keeping the festival grounds clean

Traverse City Record-Eagle, July 7, 2014

By SARAH ELMSselms@record-eagle.comCherry Fest Trash

— TRAVERSE CITY — Volunteers in red T-shirts combed the beaches around the Open Space early today to collect food wrappers, empty beer cans and other trash left behind by weekend festival-goers.

Grand Traverse County Emergency Management Coordinator Gregg Bird estimated more than a half-million people descended on downtown Traverse City for July 4 celebrations and the National Cherry Festival’s opening weekend.

They took in the fireworks, marveled at the U.S. Navy Blue Angels — and left their trash.

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BARC Finding Money in Mattresses

The Ticker, June 27, 2014

Andy Gale a top a big old pile of big old mattresses.

Andy Gale a top a big old pile of big old mattresses.

by Lynn Geiger,

Instead of money under the mattress, one local businessman is betting on money being in it.

Andy Gale, who has built a successful nonprofit recycling operation out of many things most people consider garbage, is now taking mattress recycling to a whole new level.

This spring Gale purchased Michigan Mattress Recyclers of Gaylord with a vision to expand the service and to keep Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) on its growth trajectory. It is the latest expansion for a company that started with just a pickup truck six years ago and is now leasing a 20,000 square-foot warehouse on Barlow and bringing all of its operations under one roof – now including thousands of used mattresses. 

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Waste not, want not

Glen Arbor Sun

By F. Josephine Arrowood
Sun contributor

“Thar’s gold in them thar hills!” So went the old saying about the 19th century Andy_Gale2-web-300x200Gold Rush in the American West. Today, there’s a resurgence of eager entrepreneurs mining for wealth—only now, the mountains are made of trash piled up in garbage bins, at curbsides, and landfills in every community in the country.

Andy Gale of Cedar is one such seeker who has made “waste not, want not” his personal and professional mission. The founder of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) discusses his visionary goals and the extraordinary growth of his six-year-old venture.

BARC collects a wide variety of recyclable materials from both residential and commercial customers, offering both convenience and a cost-effective way to make their detritus “disappear.”

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Recycle Containters

Gale & BARC in The TICKER

Bay Area Recycling for Charities was in The TICKER! Read our story below!

Andy Gale can find a use for just about anything. Used fryer oil? Convert that into biodiesel fuel, and that’s just the beginning. GALE BARC TICKER - Greening Traverse City

Gale is the founder of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC), a nonprofit organization whose net profits are donated to local charities. The company, which operates in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Antrim, Leelanau, Benzie, and Manistee counties, was founded by Gale in 2008. Gale, who moved from Chicago to Traverse City in 2008, had little knowledge about recycling, but was passionate about environmental sustainability.

“I didn’t know anything about recycling but I wanted to learn more about it,” says Gale. “And I wanted to be a better recycling and so I started the organization to learn about how it works, and how it functions, and what markets are there, and how those systems all work together.”

What started as a small operation with Gale driving a pickup truck and collecting recycled material from businesses and residences has quickly grew into an operation employing ten people with a fast-growing line of new products and services.

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Recycle Ranger

PR-recycle-ranger-4Andy Gale’s motto is ‘waste not, give a lot’

By Anne Stanton

A skeptical friend of mine strongly suggested that I follow the area recycling trucks back to their plants to see if the bottles, paper and cans were really recycled—or if the trash companies just threw the stuff in the landfill — ha, ha, and the joke’s on all of us.

She wasn’t going to recycle, she said, until I did an in-depth investigation.

Andy Gale, the owner of Bay Area Recycling for Charities, said that he absolutely guarantees that all the stuff he gets is recycled. And people can actually save money by doing the right thing (meaning I’m off the hook).

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