Posted by: recycleannarbor | June 24, 2015

“Tidy Your Township” Campaign 2015

During winter 2015, Recycle Ann Arbor reached out to surrounding townships with one main goal- reduce the amount of illegal dumping in townships by ensuring that residents know where they can take frequently dumped items.

Our research suggested that that the following items are frequently dumped:

  • Tires
  • Construction materials and concrete
  • TVs
  • Refrigerators

For those townships proactively interested in tackling this issue, Recycle Ann Arbor researched environmentally sound options for their main dumping issues and waste streams. The options included Recycle Ann Arbor facilities, such as the Drop-Off Station or the Recovery Yard on Jackson Rd, but also included Washtenaw County Services such as the Home Toxics Collection Program and Clean Up Events.

We would like to thank Saline, Barton Hills Village, Webster, Salem, Dexter, Freedom, Superior, and Milan for agreeing to be proactive about disposal solutions.

If you live in a surrounding township and would like to know more about this campaign or recycling and waste issues, please contact us or visit our website.

Posted by: recycleannarbor | June 9, 2015

Drop-Off Station (DOS) Announces Expanded Summer 2015 Service Day

DOS Customer Unloading Items to Recycle

The Drop-Off Station (DOS) will expand its operation days to also include Mondays, 8:30am-1:30pm. This additional operation day will begin on Monday, June 15th and go through Monday, August 31st to better accommodate our customers this summer.

During 2014 on-site surveys, customers specified that Monday was the preferred additional day they would like to see the DOS open. We piloted this additional service day in summer 2014 and it was well received by the community.
To provide customers with a requested service and an additional opportunity to recycle, we have chosen to again open for half-a-day (8:30am-1:30pm) on Mondays this summer.

Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station, located at 2950 E. Ellsworth Road, targets recyclable materials originating from homes and small businesses. It is the largest public drop-off site in Michigan. Customers bring a range of waste types to the site, and Recycle Ann Arbor works to limit the amount of this material sent to landfill. Currently around 50% of the material brought to the DOS is sent for recycling.

With payment of the general entry fee ($3.00), customers can bring in a wide range of materials including:
-Vegetable Oil (up to 5 gallons)
-Packing Peanuts and Bubble Wrap
-Paper, books, and magazines
-Household Appliances
-Metal items
-Cords and Wires
-Up to 3 large bags of textiles
-Plastic Bags
-Automotive and Rechargeable Batteries
-Motor Oil, Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid (up to 5 gallons)
-CPUs and Laptops
-Plastic #1- #7 (excluding #3)
-Rigid plastics such and plastic totes and lawn furniture
-Glass containers

Other items such as televisions, car tires, and mattresses are accepted for additional fees. For a full list of materials and details on fees please visit

In addition to being open on Mondays (8:30am -1:30pm) this summer, the Drop-Off Station is regularly open Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30am – 6:30pm, and Saturdays 9:00am to 6:00pm.

Choose to use the blue bin!

Due to its success and overwhelming positive community feedback, the city of Ann Arbor parks recycling program will expand slightly to include twenty parks for 2015. In 2014, fourteen city parks were chosen to pilot, based on the frequency of park users and events, with special consideration for areas with team sports fields, such as baseball and soccer.

During the 2014 pilot program, all recycling collection was documented by Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) to assess overall participation, recycling fill rates, and any contamination (trash) of the materials present. Parks’ recycling bins that were continually 50-100% full weekly with recyclable material and low contamination rates were: Argo Park, Burns Park, Buhr Park, Island Park pavilions, and the Ann Arbor Skate Park at Veterans Memorial Park.

Colin Smith, City of Ann Arbor’s Parks & Recreation Services Manager, added, “Over the years, we often had requests for recycling in the parks, but previous efforts resulted in high rates of trash mixed in with recycling. The success of the pilot program last season is encouraging and we’re looking forward to being able to test out additional locations and see what works for the park users.”

For the 2015 season (May-November), these parks will have recycling available:
Allmendinger Park
Argo Park
Bandemer Park
Burns Park
Buhr Park
Clinton Park*
Frisinger Park
Fuller Park
Furstenberg Nature Area*
Gallup Park*
Hunt Park*
Island Park
Longshore Park*
Mary Beth Doyle Nature Area
Olson Park*
Southeast Area Park
Swift Run Dog Park*
Veterans Memorial Park and the Ann Arbor Skatepark
West Park
Wheeler Park
*Newly added parks for the 2015 season.

Recycling in the parks is just like recycling at your own home in Ann Arbor- glass, metal, empty plastic bottles & tubs (#1, #2, #4-7), and paper can all go into the single-stream bins. As a reminder, no food waste, Styrofoam, plastic bags or dog waste should go into recycling bins.

The creation of the pilot program stemmed from a section of the City of Ann Arbor’s Solid Waste Resource Plan (2013-2017) focused on increasing “public space recycling” options. The City of Ann Arbor Parks Recycling Pilot Program began in July 2014 and is a partnership between Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA), the City of Ann Arbor’s Solid Waste Division and the City of Ann Arbor’s Parks & Recreation Services Unit.

For more information about the recycling program in the parks, please contact Christine Chessler-Stull at or 734.662.6288 ext.119

To learn more about the City of Ann Arbor parks system, visit; or for details on the recycling program in Ann Arbor, go to

Posted by: recycleannarbor | April 14, 2015

Latex Paint Recycling Program Launches at the Drop-Off Station (DOS)

Starting on Saturday, April 18th, the Drop-Off Station (DOS) located at 2950 E. Ellsworth Road, will accept latex paint for recycling. The DOS constantly strives to expand the recycling services it offers to customers- specifically trying to implement those services that customers ask for. Customers often brought latex paint to the DOS for recycling and then were disappointed to find that it was not accepted on-site.

To address this, Recycle Ann Arbor has introduced a collection point in the barn. The collection service and processing will be through Epaint recycling, a local company based in Battle Creek, MI.

The cost to recycle latex paint is $2 per gallon can, and $10 per 5 gallon bucket.

-Types of Paint Accepted: Latex (Water-Based) paint only. Oil based paints such as glosses and varnishes are not accepted.
-Preparing the Paint: The paint should be in it’s original container with a secure lid.
-What Happens to the Paint: The paint is collected from Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station (DOS) and taken to EPaint Recyclers is Battle Creek. There the paint is emptied, mixed, and blended to produce a usable product.

To see this process in action watch this video:

Customers bringing paint to the Drop-Off Station are still subject to the $3 entry fee. To maximize the value of the visit to the customer they should be aware that they can bring the following at no extra cost:
-Vegetable Oil (up to 5 gallons)
-Packing Peanuts and Bubble Wrap
-Paper, books, and magazines
-Household Appliances
-Metal items
-Cords and Wires
-Up to 3 large bags of textiles
-Plastic Bags
-Automotive and Rechargeable Batteries
-Motor Oil, Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid (up to 5 gallons)
-CPUs and Laptops
-Plastic #1- #7 (excluding #3)
-Rigid plastics such and plastic totes and lawn furniture
-Glass containers

Recycle Ann Arbor reserves the right to refuse any paint deemed unacceptable or in an unsuitable container. Customers are urged to call ahead with any questions about proper protocol and collection so their on-site visit goes as smoothly as possible.

The Drop-Off Station is regularly open Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30am – 6:30pm, and Saturdays 9:00am – 6:00pm. 734-971-7400. A full listing can be found at: 

Posted by: recycleannarbor | April 7, 2015

Local Profile: “Zero Waste Warriors”

store picts 10-28-13 001_delux drapery

Delux Drapery, located at 2215 W. Stadium Blvd in Ann Arbor, is a family-owned business committed to recycling, reuse and community engagement. We were able to chat with them a bit about their efforts to move their company toward “zero waste.” Here is their story:

At Delux Drapery we take recycling seriously.  We believe that by recycling and repurposing, we are doing our part to help the community and the planet.  Aside from the recycling dumpsters outside our building, we also have receptacles in our back room for paper, plastic, metal and cardboard.  Our kitchen also has a recycling bin for all of the food containers that get brought in by our employees.  Each of our desks has a tray for recycling paper so that there is less chance of items being tossed carelessly.  We also sell several products that include recycled content.

But we don’t just stop there.  We collect items for the Scrap Box of Ann Arbor to pick up.  This includes discontinued fabric, wallpaper books and bubble wrap.  The Scrap Box promotes reuse in a creative way for kids to express themselves with what they find in their warehouse.  So, it’s an easy choice for us to partner with them when we have so much fun stuff to share!

We also have art teachers from local elementary schools come in for fabric and wallpaper books as well.  They always have a creative idea for their students in using our scraps.

At Delux Drapery, we are always looking for a way to avoid throwing things out.  Most of the time, something can be reused, re-purposed or recycled.  We are proud to support Ann Arbor’s zero waste efforts!

Posted by: recycleannarbor | April 6, 2015

“Who Does What” in the Local Solid Waste Universe


Some recent news coverage on contractual and operational issues at the city of Ann Arbor owned materials recovery facility (MRF) created quite a bit of confusion among elected leaders, local media and citizens about who exactly is providing what solid waste services in Ann Arbor.  We understand the dynamics and structure can be confusing at times, so here’s our attempt at setting the record straight:

Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) is the local, non-profit, environmental service provider founded in 1977 (and subsidiary of the Ecology Center) that is contracted by the City of Ann Arbor to provide residential and multi-family curbside recycling collection services in Ann Arbor; along with curbside-based business recycling services in the community*.  RAA also operates the ReUse Center at 2420 S. Industrial, the Drop-off Station at 2950 E. Ellsworth Road and the Jackson Road Recovery Yard (formerly Calvert’s) at 7891 Jackson Road. *The City of Ann Arbor currently provides service for all recycling dumpsters and the businesses in the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

ReCommunity is a for-profit recycling processor that operates the City of Ann Arbor’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and waste transfer station, under a long-term operating agreement.  The Ann Arbor MRF processes not only the recyclables collected from within the City of Ann Arbor, but also materials from the University of Michigan and dozens of other nearby communities.  ReCommunity has 32 recycling facilities in 14 states, processing several hundred thousand tons of recyclables each year with over 1,500 permanent employees, and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

We Care Organics is a for-profit compost processor (and organics transportation service) that operates the City of Ann Arbor’s compost site.  The Ann Arbor compost site not only processes organic waste (including food waste) generated by Ann Arbor residents and businesses, but also compostables delivered by individuals, local landscapers, the University of Michigan and other communities.  We Care is headquartered in Jordan, New York and currently operates a dozen compost facilities in the United States, most on the East Coast. The City of Ann Arbor is the hauler (pick-up) for the curbside compost service currently.

Waste Management,the largest for-profit waste services company in North America, collects commercial (business) dumpster waste in Ann Arbor under a franchise collection contract with the City of Ann Arbor.  In addition, its Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan receives all of the non-recyclable/compostable waste processed at the Ann Arbor waste transfer station operated by ReCommunity.  Waste Management is a $14billion/year company with over 42,000 employees headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The Recovery Yard (formerly known as “Calvert’s Roll-Off Containers”) location at 7891 Jackson Rd. will be once again offering a live secure document shredding service starting for the season on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 (9am-12pm). In 2014, this service was able to divert 35,559 lbs of paper from the landfill.

Allshred Services Truck

Allshred Services Truck

The live shredding service is offered at this facility from April-November, but only occurring on the second Saturday of each month from 9am-12pm when the Allshred Services truck is present. Customers can expect to pay $4 per grocery bag and $6 per banker’s box for the service. A grocery bag typically holds around 16lbs of paper. Cash, check, and credit are accepted for this service, but there is a $10.00 minimum for credit transactions. Cash is preferred on-site. If customers do have over twenty boxes to shred, please contact Allshred Services directly at 419-467-2086.

Allshred Services prides itself on taking numerous security steps to assure customers that their documents remain confidential throughout the entire process. Customers can stay on-site to watch the shredding process happen. Once materials are destroyed in the truck, the paper material is transported to Allshred’s secure facility by GPS-tracked trucks. Full information about the process can be found on their website.

Customers who may need service during the week and don’t mind utilizing “lock-boxes” (not live document shredding) can choose Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station (2950 E. Ellsworth Rd.) shredding service. However, there is a $3 entry fee to access this site.

The Recovery Yard also accepts items such as cardboard, metals, and common household recyclables for drop-off recycling during these events – in addition to during the week. Additionally, they specialize in construction and demolition recycling as well as roll-off container rentals. For a full list of services visit their website.

To inquire about Recycle Ann Arbor’s Recovery Yard services, including roll-off container rentals, please call 734-426-2280 directly. This facility is open for recycling drop-off 6 days a week: Monday to Friday, 7:30am – 4:00pm, and Saturdays 8:00am to 2:00pm.

Posted by: recycleannarbor | December 4, 2014

Annual Passes On Sale for the Drop-Off Station (Dec 9th)

Drop-Off Station Customer

Drop-Off Station Customer

Annual passes for Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station, located at 2950 E. Ellsworth (just west of Platt Rd), go on sale starting Tuesday, December 9th. Although not a new service, Recycle Ann Arbor feels it is important to remind the community of the many options available so they may pick the most cost-effective one for their needs.

Annual passes exempt the customer from the Drop-Off Station’s entrance fee until December 31st, 2015. Additionally, holders get a 5% discount on waste fees if they have an annual pass. An annual pass for residents and businesses is $75.00 for the year. For those businesses that do high volume recycling at the site the price is $150.00.

For customers that don’t visit frequently enough to gain value from the annual pass, Recycle Ann Arbor provides a 10-visit punch pass. This pass has no expiration date and is good for 10 visits. The pass costs $25.00 for residents and businesses. However, for businesses that do high volume recycling at the site the price is $100.00.

For customers that visit less frequently, the entry fee is still $3.00 for residents and businesses. For those businesses that do high volume recycling at the site the entry fee is $12.00.

With these passes and the general entry fee, customers can bring in a wide range of materials at no extra cost including:

  • Vegetable Oil (up to 5 gallons)
  • Packing Peanuts and Bubble Wrap
  • Paper, books, and magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Household Appliances
  • Metal items
  • Up to 3 large bags of textiles
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic Bags
  • Automotive and Rechargeable Batteries
  • Motor Oil, Brake Fluid and Transmission Fluid (up to 5 gallons)
  • CPUs and Laptops
  •  Plastic #1- #7 (excluding #3)
  • Rigid plastics such and plastic totes and lawn furniture
  •  Glass containers

For a full list of materials and details on fees for other recyclable items customers can visit

The Drop-Off Station is open Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30am – 6:30pm, and Saturdays 9:00am to 6:00pm. 734-971-7400.

Posted by: recycleannarbor | November 10, 2014

Support and Shop Local this Upcoming Holiday Season

Shop Local this Holiday Season!Recycle Ann Arbor believes in supporting local businesses throughout the year- and the holidays should be no exception! With such a vibrant community of business owners, Ann Arbor has many options to keep your holiday shopping local.

While many will be shopping “big-box” stores this upcoming Friday, November 28th (“Black Friday”), we encourage you to shop local and second-hand at our ReUse Center. Make it a weekend to celebrate, shop, and support the local businesses in our town.

We hope you will consider supporting Recycle Ann Arbor’s non-profit divisions that will be open this holiday weekend:

  • The ReUse Center will be open regular hours (10am-5pm) on Friday, November 28th with sales throughout the day and weekend! Check our Facebook for the most up-to-date sale offerings.
  • The Drop-Off Station (DOS) will be open Saturday, November 29th for all your recycling needs (9am-6pm).
  • The Jackson Rd. (“Calvert’s”) division will also be open on Saturday, November 29th (8am-2pm) for all your disposal needs.
    • Now is the perfect time to clean out your basement before the holiday season!

Consider reuse first this holiday season!
Happy Holidays.

Recycle Ann Arbor, a local nonprofit organization committed to waste reduction, will be celebrating “America Recycles Day” on Saturday, November 15th (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) at the ReUse Center located at 2420 S. Industrial Hwy. Ann Arbor, 48104.

America Recycles Day“America Recycles Day” is a national movement started by Keep America Beautiful that happens annually on or around November 15th to promote recycling practices on a local level through community events.

This year, our focus will be on waste awareness and education to the Ann Arbor community. It’s a day to learn about your options for local recycling, reuse, and general waste reduction in your life- all while exploring what our ReUse Center has to offer.

We will have an Outreach table set-up within the store full of information about our organization, volunteer opportunities, and giveaways* (reusable tote bags, stickers, etc). As we continue to build our local communication platform, giveaways will be given out to those who provide an email address to receive our organization E-updates. In the spirit of the day, we will also have a guessing game focused on a jar full of shredded paper that visitors can take a shot at- the winner with the closest weight estimate will be entered into a raffle for a prize.

“Becoming involved in waste reduction activities, including recycling and reuse, is an easy step we all can take to improve our community, conserve natural resources, and create jobs. Through events like this, we aim to educate the public about local recycling and reuse efforts and how they can stay involved all year long,” said Christine Chessler-Stull, Outreach & Zero Waste Coordinator.

Customers can maximize their visit to the ReUse Center on America Recycles Day by bringing in good, reusable items to donate such as building materials (windows, tiles, doors, etc) and household items (couches, dressers, kitchenware, etc). These similar items and much more, are all available for purchase in our 20,000 sq. foot store space.

For a complete list of accepted items for donation at the ReUse Center, please visit

The ReUse Center is currently open Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, and Sundays, 10am-2pm**.
Donation drop-offs stop one hour prior to closing. 734-222-7880.
**Sunday hours and donation days will change the week of December 1st, 2014.

*Event giveaways were made possible in part by a generous donation from Domino’s Pizza for this event.

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