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The Dirt on Composting

The art of composting has several different factors that work together to create an organic matter.

Broken down by microorganisms into this useable form, it aids in environmental well-being while offering nutrients rich for plant growth. The benefits are seen daily, from reducing methane emissions in landfills to minimizing the need for chemical fertilizers.

In addition to composting for many of the local events, BARC pairs together with individually owned farms in the area in need of compost to sustainably feed their animals and enrich soil for crops.

Through this partnership recycling comes full circle, allowing food that would be sitting in landfills to be repurposed as a source of natural energy and necessary nutrients.

One of these local farms is Realeyes Homestead, whose owners hold a strong belief in sustainable living while taking the reigns on matters that BARC fully believes in.

With both chickens and pigs to feed, we help them by providing food waste for 90% of their diets!

Not only does this give us a place to have our compost utilized but also, with the farm being closeby, depletes the cost of moving this heavy matter.

Their podcast, Permaculture Realized, delivers on the knowledge needed to turn your own homestead into an ecologically restorative part of the community. If you’re curious how BARC got it’s start, they’ve done an interview with founder Andy Gale on the ins and outs of large scale recycling.

With a passion for producing good quality food while improving soil and land, Morganic Farm is another one of our partners we offer compost to. They house hogs, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, and hens while doing all of their gardening by hand using ecological practices on their 30 acres.

Are you a local farmer in need of compost to feed your pigs? Contact us!

What can be composted?

Most food scraps are compostable, including fruits & veggies, eggshells, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, nutshells, and more; but it doesn’t stop there.

Household items such as paper and cardboard products (but not coated, shiny paper as seen on some food labels), cotton and wool rags, fireplace ashes, and vacuum lint can also be added to enrich your composting source.

Compost is made up of three different parts:

  • Browns (dead leaves, woodchips, branches, twigs, etc)

  • Greens (fruit & vegetable scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, etc)

  • Water

These are layered evenly and turned occasionally to aerate and aid the decomposing process.

It’s easy and simple to do.

Piles need to be turned only once a week in the summer, and about once every three to four weeks during winter. Getting a bin with small worms or critters will help along the process. When composting is done right, you won’t even notice it’s there.

Composting is for everyone!

Apart from the benefits already mentioned, compost will help your plants flourish! Use it in houseplants or sprinkle it around your garden and lawn and you’re sure to notice the difference.
Interested in making your carbon footprint smaller? Choose one of these options to start your own composting bin, wherever you live!

1. BARC started their composting with a simple palette board setup. If you have yard space, you too can create one just like we did by following this tutorial!

2. If you don’t have access to yard space, this short tutorial for making your own composting bin in under 15 minutes is great for a balcony or apartment.

3. For those wanting a less hands-on approach but are still interested in helping the environment, this youtuber talks about how she takes her food scraps to a local farmer’s market each week while keeping her apartment odorless.

We hope this has inspired you to start your own journey in composting to better our environment!



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Pour for More

So excited to announce the official participating venues: Rare Bird Brewpub, The Filling Station Microbrewery, BLK MRKT, The Little Fleet, Brewery Terra Firma, Taproot Cider House,Brewery Ferment, Short’s Brewing Company,Earthen Ales, The Workshop Brewing Company,Olives and Wine and more to come!
This month’s featured nonprofit is Bay Area Recycling for Charities. Enjoy the Pour for More drink at any of these venues to support a good cause!



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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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