2023 Wrapped with BARC: A Year In Review
For 16 years, BARC has continued to inspire an environmentally conscious culture in Northern Michigan and beyond. Through educating others on the long-term value of recycling and helping them make sustainable choices with simple and accessible services, we strive to make the world a greener place.
In 2023, we were able to make new partnerships, expand our recycling services, facilitate zero-waste events all over Michigan, grow our team, and continue to work on our goals. We are proud of our growth in size, knowledge, and support this year, which is why we are highlighting 2023’s greatest hits. Let’s take a moment to celebrate this year’s remarkable achievements through the collective efforts of all the recycling enthusiasts who contributed to our success.
2023’s Greatest Hits and Goals for 2024
Manistee County Recycling
The BARC team has continued to oversee the Manistee County Recycling program this year. We work with Manistee County on their Green Team to help facilitate its recycling efforts at ten recycling collection sites across the county. BARC’s Recycling Coordinator and Resale Store Manager, Karla Smith-Kasten, oversees these efforts.
Marine Plastic Recycling
At BARC, we take pride in our commitment to the environmentally conscious handling of Marina Film Plastic, a crucial material for protecting and wrapping boats during the off-season. We established a meaningful partnership with Dr. Shrink, EGLE, and the Michigan Recycling Coalition in 2023 to ensure the proper recycling of Marina Film Plastic. By leveraging the expertise and resources of our partners, we have established a comprehensive recycling program that addresses the unique challenges posed by this specialized plastic material.
Over the past three years, we’ve witnessed a remarkable 25% annual increase in the utilization of Dr. Shrink Bags, a clear testament to the success of our recycling endeavors. This positive trend signals a growing awareness and adoption of sustainable practices within the industry. Sign up here if you want to recycle your boat shrink wrap with BARC come boating season.
BARC has expanded our E-waste initiatives, solidifying our commitment to responsible electronic waste management. This year, we are taking charge of Electronic Waste pickups for Leelanau County in collaboration with ERecycleTC and Advantage Earth.
We’re excited to announce that we will have 12 E-waste Collection event days in 2024. This expanded schedule aims to enhance accessibility and convenience for Leelanau County residents, allowing for more opportunities to dispose of their electronic waste responsibly. These dates will be separate from the county’s Household Hazardous Waste events. Stay tuned for more details in our upcoming newsletters, which you can sign up for by entering your email at the bottom of the blog!
Grand Traverse County
In addition to more e-waste collection events in Leelanau County, we will continue the free TV recycling program for Grand Traverse County residents in 2024. Residents can use this program by visiting the ERecycleTC website for more information. We also encourage community members to actively support our cause by considering the purchase of refurbished devices through Advantage Earth.
Mattress recycling helps reclaim valuable materials essential to numerous production streams. We have been disassembling mattresses by hand for years, which has taught us how valuable yet dangerous this process can be. At the beginning of 2023, we received an incredible $500,000 grant from EGLE (Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) to revolutionize our approach to mattress recycling by introducing automation into our processes.
In 2024, we will use our grant to implement cutting-edge equipment that is set to bring about a transformative increase in the volume of mattresses we can recycle. Stay tuned for the exciting updates this year as we embrace the future of mattress recycling with groundbreaking automation.
In 2024, BARC is currently exploring expanding into Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) services in Kaleva, MI. Stay informed about our developments by subscribing to our newsletter for future communications regarding this venture.
Zero Waste Events/Compostable Products
In 2024, BARC plans to extend our services and introduce a range of compostable products for sale in Manistee County. To book an event with us, complete the Zero Waste Event Inquiry Form on our website.
As we enter 2024, we are gearing up to pursue grants to fuel our future plans in De/Re-Construction. We currently have a fantastic partnership with The Green Mission, a company that helps coordinate and manage environmentally sound deconstruction projects. Our shared mission is to transform your house into a meaningful contribution. Discover the worth of your house or materials by visiting the Green Mission website for more information.
BARC Kaleva Resale Store
We started the BARC Resale Store in Kaleva to expand our efforts of diverting materials from landfills while giving back to the local communities that support us. You can find many items here, from cookware and clothing to books, furniture, antiques, or electronics. It’s been a successful venture for us, so we are expanding. In 2024, the BARC Kaleva Resale Store will expand from 2,400 to 10,000 square feet. Stay updated on the expansion by following our Facebook page.
We truly appreciate everyone who helped us foster a greener Michigan throughout 2023. Thank you to the supporters who have been instrumental in our growth and establishing a more sustainable community. BARC eagerly anticipates the promising future ahead and the accomplishments to come!