Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 1, 2010

Fall back by recycling

BY LISA PERKINS
lperkins@record-eagle.com

TRAVERSE CITY — Falling back at the end of daylight-saving time frees up an extra hour this weekend. Members of the Michigan Green Consortium are hoping community residents will use that time to help preserve the environment.

Daylight Savings Clean Up and Green Up, a free community-wide recycle, repurpose and reuse event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, in Parking Lot B in downtown Traverse City, the site of the summer and fall farmers market at the intersection of Union Street and Grandview Parkway.

"During our third event our commitment remains to inform the public and demonstrate through partnerships with our local recycling companies that so much of what we throw out can be recycled, repurposed or renewed," said Ella Cooper-Froehlich, a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Green Consortium and the sponsor coordinator for the event that allows residents to bring in difficult-to-recycle items, items that have salvageable components, or materials and items that can be repurposed or reused to one central location for collection at no charge.

Cooper-Froehlich noted that the average volume of recyclable materials spared from landfills during the previous events totaled more than 11,000 pounds of steel scrap, 9,000 pounds of electronics, 8,200 pounds of shredible confidential documents, more than 1,300 pounds of auto batteries, 280 freezers, 76 pounds of Freon, 20 pounds of wire hangers, 25 cubic yards of cardboard and paper stock, 20 cubic yards of loose Styrofoam, 15 cubic yards or more than 8,000 pounds or organic waste, 12 cubic yards of plastics and bubble wrap, 11 cubic yards of plastic bags and mixed plastic, 4 cubic yards of aluminum and metal, 4 cubic yards of plastic landscape pots, 3 cubic yards of glass, 112 printer ink cartridges, 55 fluorescent tubes, 50 compact fluorescent bulbs and 37 fire extinguishers.

"With each event we hope to expand the scope of what we can accept and have added television sets, up to 32 inches, free of charge. Best Buy is accepting what would normally cost someone $20 to $30 to get rid of," Cooper-Froehlich said.

Goodwill Industries will be on hand for the first time to accept books, reading glasses, computer system units and computer monitors as part of the Dell Take Back program. TC E Waste, specializing in electronics recycling will accept batteries, laptops, computer peripherals, printers, scanners and cell phones.

Clean Up and Green Up now includes more than 20 local sponsor-partners, including recycling companies that collect nearly the entire spectrum of difficult to recycle.

Odom Reusable Building Materials will accept a broad range of clean and reusable building products including lumber, clean carpet and rigid insulation. M and E Small Engine Service will retrieve and repair small gas-powered engines while Rifkin will accept those that are not repairable, auto batteries and anything made from ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Andy Gale, founder of the nonprofit Bay Area Recycling for Charities, said that Clean Up and Green Up is more important than ever with community recycling centers being closed.

"We hope that people don't start throwing things away. Recycling is not an elective thing anymore, it should be a necessity," said Gale, who donates all profits from his recycling organization to local charities.

Gale's agency takes in difficult-to-recycle plastics including Styrofoam, bubble wrap and grocery bags as well as compostable yard waste and pumpkins.

"We are kind of shooting ourselves in the foot by taking in things that would normally be taken only for a fee, but we are fully supportive of this great idea that allows the community to meet our local recyclers," Gale said.

For more information — including a list of accepted recyclable items — visit www.cleanupgreenup.com.