Posted by: recycleannarbor | March 24, 2016

Celebrate the ReUse Center Turning 20 with Us!

2016_store view_reusecenter3

Recycle Ann Arbor’s ReUse Center first opened in 1996 as a grassroots effort to extend the lifecycle of perfectly good products being thrown away. Since then, the ReUse Center has successfully diverted hundreds of thousands of donated products from ending up in the landfill, from furniture and small appliances to dishes, books, lamps, bikes, and more. Instead of landing in the area landfill and potentially off-gassing hazardous air emissions or leaching into the groundwater, these reusable goods were put to good use by a second, third, or even fourth owner.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the ReUse Center has aided the Ann Arbor Community by offering reasonable priced, affordable goods for the financially conscientious. It’s also been a great place to volunteer for the community’s students, activists, retirees, and those fulfilling community service requirements.

To commemorate the ReUse Center, Recycle Ann Arbor is hosting a 20th-anniversary celebration this April.

ReUse Center 20th Anniversary Celebration
A zero waste event

 When: Saturday, April 23rd, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Where: The ReUse Center 2420 S. Industrial Hwy, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Parking:
Once the ReUse Center parking lot is full, overflow parking will be next door.

Schedule of the Day:

  • Community Swap Shop: 10 am to 4 pm: Attendees are invited to bring toys and clothes to share and swap all for free. All items left at the end of the day will be donated to House By the Side of the Road.
  • Roos Roast: 10 am to 4 pm: Our neighbors, Roos Roast, will be at the event selling their locally roasted coffee and small bites.
  • Touch-a-Recycling-Truck: 10 am to 12 pm: Children will get to experience sitting at the driver seat of a real recycling truck.
  • Pet Packaging Testing for Toxic Chemicals: 10 am to 4 pm: The Ecology Center, will be collecting pet packaging samples for their upcoming study on toxic chemicals hiding in pet food packaging. Attendees can bring empty, relatively clean pet packaging to the event and the results of the study will be shared with participants at a later date.
  • Repurposed Kids’ Craft with the Scrapbox: 12 pm to 1 pm: Children will get the chance to make bugs out of reusable scrap materials collected by our friends at the Scrapbox.
  • Pleasant Lake Hardwood Chair Building Demo: 1 pm to 2 pm: Attendees will watch a simple demonstration by Pleasant Lake Hardwoods on how to build an adirondack chair. Kits will be available for purchase from Urbanwood.Sawmill in action!
  • Tervol’s Wood Sawmill Demo: 2 pm to 4 pm: Watch Tervol’s Wood Products will bring their portable sawmill for a demonstration and provide an opportunity to meet a local sawyer and learn about urban lumber.

 

Allshred Services Truck

Allshred Services Truck

Thinking about spring cleaning during tax season? Recycle Ann Arbor’s Recovery Yard (formerly known as “Calvert’s Roll-Off Containers”) location at 7891 Jackson Road will be once again offering a live secure document shredding service starting for the season on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 (9am-12pm).
In 2015, this service was able to divert 55,000 lbs of paper from the landfill.

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 $6 per grocery bag and $8 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” (paper is securely shredded off-site) 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 and fees are still $6 per grocery bag and $8 per banker’s box.

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 and fees visit their website.

*A $3.00 fee for recycling these materials does apply at this site.

Posted by: recycleannarbor | January 5, 2016

“Green Up” Your 2016: Waste Challenges

year-grass-artifical-59030301New Year’s resolutions are made with the best intentions, but are often broken before January is even over! Instead, consider testing out these new habits once a month, once a week, or every day as an environmental challenge for the 2016 calendar year:

  • Minimize your use of single-serve disposable items
  • Commit to using reusable coffee cups and water bottles
  • Buy bulk foods and store them in glass jars- reduce packaging and food waste
  • Minimize your use of plastics overall
  • Shop and donate to second-hand stores
  • Repair items instead of replacing them
  • Stop using plastic/paper bags and instead switch to reusable
  • Start composting at home- in your backyard or cart system

Want more advice on committing to these lifestyle changes? Send us an email or give us a call. We’re here to help.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more ways to get involved, reduce, reuse, and recycle this year!

Posted by: recycleannarbor | December 8, 2015

Winter Holiday ReUse & Recycling Guide 2015

Be "Waste Aware" this Season.Reducing your environmental impact, while also saving money this holiday season, takes just a few small habit changes. For instance, consider purchasing non-material gifts such as experiences or services. Also, reuse gift bags from past years and try not to over package items. Reduce food waste by purchasing the exact quantities you need.

Even if we are “waste aware” this holiday season, there will inevitably still be some items to dispose of such as gift wrapping paper or old electronics. There are many local options to dispose of these materials (and much more!) once the holidays are over. Even your Christmas tree can be composted!

Recycle Ann Arbor has put together a guide to answer all your local questions regarding reuse and recycling during the holidays.

Read the 2015 Winter Holiday Reuse & Recycling Guide here. (.pdf)

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Posted by: recycleannarbor | November 19, 2015

Shop Local with Recycle Ann Arbor this Holiday Season

Support Local Businesses this Holiday Season.

Support Local Businesses 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 27th (“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 (11/27-11/29):

  • The ReUse Centerwill be open regular hours (10am-5pm) on Friday, November 27th with 50% off store-wide sales throughout the day and into the weekend! The Urbanwood Marketplace will be 10% off all weekend also. Normal weekend hours apply (Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 11am-3pm).
  • The Drop-Off Station(DOS) will be open Saturday, November 28th for all your recycling and disposal needs (9am-6pm).
  • The Jackson Rd. (“Calvert’s”)division and Main Office will be closed all holiday weekend.

Consider reuse first this holiday season!
Happy Holidays.

Posted by: recycleannarbor | October 20, 2015

Ann Arbor Recycles on America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day and coast-to-coast community-driven awareness campaign dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. It has been held on – and in the weeks leading into – Nov. 15 since 1997.

Recycling has deep roots in the Ann Arbor community. Ann Arbor’s pioneering recycling efforts in the 1970s led the nation in developing community recycling programs. The Ann Arbor community continues year after year to make the conscientious decision to invest their time and money into reducing, reusing, and recycling.

This year celebrate your year long recycling efforts on Saturday Nov. 14th (10am-2pm) with Recycle Ann Arbor and the Ecology Center. The purpose of ‘Ann Arbor Recycles 2015’ is to engage the Ann Arbor community to learn about recycling and reusing and then challenge them to reduce their impact on the waste stream.

Ann Arbor Recycles Day Schedule for Sat, Nov 14th:

10:00 am to Noon – Event kicks off at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) aka the Recycling Processing Plant

Pick up your Reduce, Reuse, Recycle passport at the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) on 4150 Platt Road, near East Ellsworth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 at the Wheeler Service Center. Click here for a site map. Tour the MRF, have fun creating a bird feeder out of a used plastic bottle and ask recycling questions. For groups of 5+ individuals, please pre-register by emailing mrftours@ecocenter.org so we can plan for your group.

10:30 am to 2 pm – Visit Recycle Ann Arbor ReUse Center

The two-part tour ends at Recycle Ann Arbor ReUse Center at 2420 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor MI, 48104. Browse the shelves of the ReUse Center, learn all about Urbanwood,  donate some unwanted items, and then most importantly, take the reduce pledge and vow to not use plastic or paper bags through the rest of the year, a tall order. To help you follow through on your pledge you’ll get a free ReUse Center reusable bag for participating. And, helping create a more sustainable world isn’t already enough, you’ll get to peruse the ReUse Center’s vast selection of used books and pick one to take home*.
*Tip: Concerned about further growing your huge book collection at home, try trading in a book instead.

Through events like Ann Arbor Recycles Day, we aim to educate the public about reducing, reusing and recycling and offer ways that they can stay involved all year long.” said Christine Chessler-Stull, Outreach & Zero Waste Coordinator at Recycle Ann Arbor.

We are part of Lucky’s Market “Bags for Change” for this quarter, September 2015-January 2016. We already know the environmental benefits of using reusable bags, but this program allows your bags to have more benefits:

How can I participate? Use your reusable bags when shopping at the Ann Arbor Lucky’s Market (1919 S. Industrial Hwy) and choose Recycle Ann Arbor as the beneficiary for your bag credit(s) at check-out.

How does the program work? Each quarter, three non-profits are selected to receive bag credit donations from their local Lucky’s Market store. When shoppers bring in their reusable bag, they can chose to receive $.10 back per bag credit OR donate that amount to a local nonprofit of their choice. Even better: when a shopper donates, Lucky’s Market will match the donation and double the giving to nonprofits!

Cottage Inn flyer_image for social media_To recycle or not recycle pizza boxes? Many communities, including Ann Arbor, hear this question often. The answer is that the Ann Arbor community does accept pizza boxes in the curbside recycling cart- as long as a few simple steps are followed to reduce possible contamination.

To better spread the message, we have partnered with Cottage Inn Pizza to educate the community about recycling pizza boxes. Starting on August 17th, all four Ann Arbor Cottage Inn store locations have a flyer (see image) affixed to pizza deliveries and available in-store. The initial run-time is expected to last until around Labor Day (Sept 7th).

College students and pizza are a winning combination, which led to our launch time targeting the period of University of Michgan (UM) student move-in (2015-2016 school year). Many UM students have come from another community, with different recycling rules, so we envision this campaign being a way to get the message about “recycling right” delivered into their hands.

Myranda Grim, Public Relations & Communications Manager of Cottage Inn, had this to say about the partnership: “Tree Town (Ann Arbor) means a lot to us and we are always looking for ways to better the community in any way that we can. Being that our product is served fresh daily in recyclable materials, it was a no-brainer to get involved in a program that would spread the knowledge of proper disposal. We are excited to pair up with Recycle Ann Arbor, and can’t wait to see the positive impact we can make on our environment!”

If you want to help spread the word about recycling pizza boxes right, download this flyer and share it widely within the Ann Arbor community. Questions about the campaign or have a similar idea? Email Christine@recycleannarbor.org to continue the discussion.

Zero Waste DetroitZero Waste Detroit (ZWD) is a collaborative of over twenty community, environmental and environmental justice organizations in the City of Detroit that has been in existence since 2007.  ZWD’s goal is to move the City of Detroit to a solid waste management system that captures the value of the waste stream–recycling—thereby avoiding the incineration of that waste, with all of the negative economic and environmental consequences associated with that form of “problem solving”.

The good news is that curbside recycling is now available throughout Detroit. However, the city requires households to purchase their own recycling container at $25/cart in order to participate in the program.  Many families in Detroit simply can’t afford such an expense.  As a result, ZWD has created a fund to provide recycling carts to as many households as possible.

As citizens with a long-standing commitment to recycling and waste minimization, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County residents have an opportunity to support Detroit’s efforts to make recycling successful.  If you are willing to contribute to ZWD’s recycling cart donation program, please make your checks payable to the Michigan Environmental Council, and write “Detroit Cart Donation Program” in the memo section.  100% of your gift will go toward the purchase of recycling carts in the City of Detroit.  Checks can be sent to the MEC at 602 W. Ionia Street, Lansing, Michigan, 48933.

Recycling finally has a foot-hold in the City of Detroit.  Let’s do what we can as supportive neighbors to help ZWD fulfill its mission of empowering recovery and citizen involvement in Michigan’s beloved Motown.  For more information on ZWD’s efforts, please visit Zero Waste Detroit’s website.

Ann Arbor City Council 2015/16 Ann Arbor Budget Amendment
Sponsors: GRAND, KRAPOHL AND WESTPHAL
Approved Unanimously on Voice Vote

MAY 18, 2015

CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE ORGANICS MANAGEMENT PLAN

Whereas, There is a strong ethic of conservation and environmental stewardship among the residents of Ann Arbor;

Whereas, Ann Arbor residents put these values into practice, currently recycling and composting roughly half of their solid waste each year;

Whereas, The Waste Less: Solid Waste Resource Plan adopted in October 2013 set goals of increasing single family diversion rates from 50 to 60% and total citywide diversion rates from 31% to 40% by 2017;

Whereas, The most recent waste sort conducted by the City of Ann Arbor found that over 40% of the material making its way to the landfill from Ann Arbor was comprised of potentially recoverable organic waste, much of it food and wood waste;

Whereas, The City of Ann Arbor spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to send unrecovered materials to a private landfill;

Whereas, Meaningful increases in organics collection will require a host of inter-related strategies in order to maximize the recovery of these materials in a cost-effective and efficient manner;

Whereas, Such strategies might include: year-round organics collection in the residential, commercial and institutional sectors; source reduction education and outreach to reduce the volume of food waste; coordination and support of food rescue programs in the community; home composting demonstration and outreach; urban wood/forestry waste recovery; fats/oils/grease (FOG) management; citizen and business input in the design of collection programs; and a review of best practices in other communities;

Whereas, Ann Arbor City Council views minimization of waste and the conservation of natural resources to be a priority of the community, and therefore desires to create momentum to drive this agenda forward in a thoughtful manner; and

Whereas, The Solid Waste unrestricted fund balance at June 30, 2014 was $14.2 million and the Administrator’s proposed operating budget shows a $300,000 surplus in the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund;

RESOLVED, That $100,000.00 be allocated in the 2015/16 Solid Waste Operating Budget to create a comprehensive organics management plan for City Council to consider, including funding and program recommendations for fiscal 2016/17 and following; and

RESOLVED, That the Solid Waste Fund FY2016 expenditure budget be increased by $100,000.00 funded by a one-time use of fund balance; and

RESOLVED, That staff is directed to coordinate this planning process, providing an update to City Council on its progress no later than December 1, 2015; and

RESOLVED, That staff will work with the Environmental Commission in the development and organization of this effort in order to engage the wider community and provide transparency throughout the plan development process.

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