Traverse City Events: Clean up your home and clean up the city… And maybe even earn some cash! The return of daylight saving marks the return of the Clean Up and Green Up community-wide recycle, repurpose and reuse event. The seventh such event, put on by Michigan Green Consortium, will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, 2012, on the grounds of American Waste’s facility at 280 Hughes Drive in Traverse City. As an encouragement for healthy energy use, local utility companies will offer rebates on old appliances. The event, held twice a year the morning following the time change, motivates local area residents to bring 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.  The upcoming November 4th event is entirely free of charge for members of the community.

Each event expands the range of items collected in an effort to educate residents on the vast range of goods that should not end up in area landfills because they are constructed from materials that can be recycled, reprocessed or have continued purpose.  This fall three new recycle entities, The Business Helper, B & T Appliance and Recycle-a-Bicycle, join the already impressive lineup of recycle partners.  The Business Helper will collect Styrofoam packing peanuts, bubble wrap and air packing pillows while B & T Appliance will take in large appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers that can be repaired and placed back into service, principally for community-wide nonprofit organizations.  Likewise, Don Cunkle of Recycle-a-Bicycle will be accepting bicycles that he then repairs and makes available to the area's disadvantaged. 

The Sweet Rewards

In accordance with energy programs that are already in place, three area utility companies,  Consumers Energy, Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Traverse City Light & Power, will be offering their customers rebates or credits for bringing in various appliances that are now deemed inefficient.  Consumers Energy will offer a $50.00 rebate to their customers for refrigerators and freezers, sized 10 – 30 cubic feet, and a $15.00 rebate for air conditioners and dehumidifiers brought to the event. Cherryland Electric Cooperative customers are offered a one-day opportunity to receive $100.00 for each refrigerator or freezer manufactured prior to 2001, and $30.00 for each air conditioner and dehumidifier that are brought to the event.   Traverse City Light and Power customers can receive $60.00 for a full-size refrigerator or freezer and $15.00 for air conditioners and dehumidifiers that are turned in.  Appliances in these programs don’t have to work but they must power up in order to be eligible for the rebates.  Customers should bring copies of their bills to qualify.

The Accepted Appliances

Michigan Mattress Recyclers will accept up to 100 sets of dry mattresses and box springs  that normally consume vast space in community landfills, but are now reprocessed into base materials for various secondary purposes.  Bill Marsh Autogroup will accept passenger car, light truck, ATV, bicycle and motorcycle tires.  Tires are limited to 8 per vehicle.   

Television sets are bulky electronic items that typically cost money to dispose of, but at the Clean Up and Green Up event Traverse City E-waste will accept them free of charge in addition to cameras, laptops and computer peripherals, small electronics  and printer ink cartridges.  We Recycling will evacuate refrigerant from freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers so that they may be broken down into their base components. They will also accept mercury-filled thermostats and propane tanks.  Odom Reuse will accept a broad range of clean and reusable building elements and materials, cabinets, doors and reusable sections of lumber and rigid insulation. Odom will also accept full gallons of clean, reusable latex paint but paint that does not conform to these standards will not be accepted. Home Depot will accept fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs. M and E Small Engine Service will gladly retrieve any outdoor gas-powered equipment such as chainsaws, snow blowers, trimmers or mowers and repair them for reuse, while Rifkin will accept those that are no longer repairable along with large appliances that are at the end of their service days, barbecue grills and anything comprised of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.   All plastics, including those numbered 1 through 7 and plastic items that do not bear a number, will be accepted by American Waste as well as glass, tin, aluminum cans, all paper products, aseptic cartons and car seats that have had the adding and metal components removed.  Bay Area Recycling will take in several versions of Styrofoam and up to 1 cubic yard of yard waste per vehicle.

Goodwill will accept cell phones, hearing aids, clean and resalable furniture items, clothing, linens, shoes & boots, musical instruments, reading glasses, video games and gaming systems,  and all brands of computer desktop units and computer monitors compliments of the Dell® Take it Back program. GT ProFILE’s Shredmonster will accept confidential files, proprietary documents, tax returns and cancelled checks to safely shred on their premises, while Team Elmer’s will accept toilets, sinks (absent the workings), porcelain, ceramic, concrete and asphalt to use in road surfacing.  Habitat for Humanity's ReStore will be on site to accept tools, ladders, extension cords, microwaves, and books (no phonebooks).  Cash n' Carry flooring will accept carpet and padding, provided the items are not wet.  Batteries Plus will accept auto batteries, power tool batteries, rechargeable and NiCad batteries and up to 5-lbs of alkaline batteries per household.

The list of accepted items is comprehensive and Michigan Green Consortium encourages patrons to consult their event-specific site for a sitemap and downloadable accepted items list.  Event organizers advise patrons to consult the event sitemap and accepted items list before loading vehicles.  "Please think ' Last In First Out' when loading your vehicles, so we can move vehicles through the site smoothly, and keep the time required to visit all 22 stations on site  as brief as possible" states Ella Cooper-Froehlich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Green Consortium. 

For More Information

There are a few items that will not be accepted, or will be accepted up to certain thresholds.  Specific details are clearly articulated on the event website.   Residents are encouraged to turn out early if they wish to recycle specific items for which certain event maximum limits exist.

The Michigan Green Consortium has quickly achieved notoriety for its recycling efforts and was named Recycle Smart Business of the Year in 2011.  Established in 2008, Michigan Green Consortium is a 501c3 not for profit organization. Its mission is to foster the general knowledge of sustainable practices and to promote the application of sound environmental stewardship through educational workshops, seminars, monthly networking events, and community-wide events designed to lessen the burden on government. 

To learn more about Michigan Green Consortium, their Daylight Saving Clean Up and Green Up event, and to download a comprehensive list of accepted items, visit the event website at, on Facebook, or call (231) 947-1688.     

Find more Traverse City events on the Event Calendar!