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Post-fireworks show clean-up planned

Traverse City Record-Eagle, July 11, 2014


— TRAVERSE CITY — The beaches surrounding the Open Space Group Effortlooked more like landfills than sandy retreats the morning after the Fourth of July, and local volunteers are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again after Saturday’s fireworks display.

They’re putting the onus on beach-goers to leave the shores trash-free at the end of the night.

“Littering is not just throwing something out of the car window, but it’s also leaving something behind for someone else to deal with,” said Andy Gale, founder of Bay Area Recycling for Charities. “Our goal is to empower them to pick up after themselves.”

Gale and Traverse City resident Beth Price are recruiting volunteers to hand out 200 garbage bags along the beaches before the National Cherry Festival fireworks begin tonight.

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Festival clean-up a group effort

Traverse City Record-Eagle, July 8, 2014


— TRAVERSE CITY — Lauren Vaughn’s crews had the beach surrounding the Open Space almost to themselves two days in a row, a rare scene during the National Cherry Festival.

Andy Gale, founder BARC

That’s because the Traverse City Parks and Recreation superintendent’s crew members were on the sand Saturday and Sunday at 5 a.m. while Traverse City natives and tourists alike rested up from a holiday weekend packed with festivities.

City crews arrived bright and early to clean the beaches after Fourth of July fireworks and a U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance.

“That’s when we have the worst trash … after fireworks,” Vaughn said.

National Cherry Festival Executive Director Trevor Tkach said daily cleanup is a partnership between festival volunteers, the city of Traverse City and Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

“Unfortunately, people leave trash on the beach. They do it every day,” Tkach said. “We did our best to get out there and get it cleaned up quickly and have things ready for the net day.”

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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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