TRAVERSE CITY — Hundreds of area residents are expected to soon descend on a local ballpark with throngs of recyclable materials in tow.
The annual Clean Up Green Up recycling event hosted by the nonprofit Michigan Green Consortium will return for the 11th year on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Traverse City Pit Spitters Ballpark parking lot. The event is free for residents of Grand Traverse County and all neighboring counties.
“We have 19 stations accepting a whole range of things,” said Ella Cooper-Froehlich, chairman of the nonprofit’s board.
Recyclable materials will be accepted for free, save for a $10 fee required for every television and mattress.
The event is designed to collect items which are difficult or otherwise costly to recycle, or which may not be accepted through curbside recycling programs.
Among items accepted are LED, fluorescent tube and compact fluorescent bulbs, power tool and alkaline batteries, mascara wands, musical instruments, packing materials, ink and toner cartridges, plastic grocery bags, clothing, linens, household appliances, scrap metal, tires, asphalt and more.
No household hazardous waste will be accepted, nor will some other things, such as carpet, toilets, sinks, drywall and various construction debris.
A complete listing of both accepted and rejected materials can be found at www.cleanupgreenup.com online.
Cooper-Froehlich said many of the items collected at the annual community recycling event are actually re-purposed locally rather than being recycled.
One local business that reuses materials gathered at Clean Up Green Up is Northwoods Office Express in Garfield Township.
Styrofoam packing peanuts and other materials are used by the local business, said owner Rebecca Yodzio.
“We ask people to put them in clear plastic bags. We reuse it as packing material,” Yodzio said.
Last year the event took place at Traverse City West Senior High School when nearly 900 vehicles showed up, Cooper-Froehlich said, despite the rainy weather.
“It is very much dependent on weather,” she said.
Cooper-Froehlich said typically upward of 1,300 vehicles participate when weather is accommodating. The odds are better for that now that the event happens in September rather than in November in the first nine years, she said.
The event in its first 10 years has collected more than 1 million pounds of electronic waste and even more scrap steel.