The upcoming daylight savings shift signifies a minor change in our daily routines, but it also marks the dream date for those of us looking to de-clutter the basement or finally dump the junk that’s accumulated in our garages: on Sunday, March 9th, 2014, Michigan Green Consortium hosts its annual community-wide free Clean Up and Green Up in Traverse City.

The grounds of American Waste’s facility at 280 Hughes Drive in Traverse City will host the event.  This will be Michigan Green Consortium’s 10th such event, which is held on the Sunday morning following the time change to assist local area residents by providing a central location for disposal of items that have salvageable components and materials or items that can be re-purposed or reused.   Designed to divert products that have further use from area landfills, the Clean Up and Green Up event is entirely free of charge for members of the community.

SCRAP TC joins the lineup of recycle partners for this spring 2014 event.  SCRAP TC is a non-profit (501c-3) creative reuse center that collects materials that can be used in creative projects that would have otherwise ended up the waste stream. Items of interest to SCRAP TC include paper, fabric and notions, artist and craft supplies, scrapbooking and gift wrapping supplies, and architectural items.  Since SCRAP TC’s list of acceptable items is both quite specific and long, it is included on the Clean Up and Green Up website.

Television sets are bulky electronic items that typically cost money to dispose of, but the Clean Up and Green Up event—a joint venture between Bay Area Recycling for Charities and Grand Traverse Industries—will accept them free of charge in addition to cameras, laptops and computer peripherals, small electronics  and printer ink cartridges. There is a limit of 1 television set per vehicle for the Spring 2014 event. Bay Area Recycling for Charities will also accept Styrofoam and up to 1 cubic yard of yard waste per vehicle.

Two area utility companies, Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Traverse City Light & Power will be offering their customers various rebates for bringing in qualifying appliances that are now deemed inefficient.  Cherryland Electric Cooperative customers are offered an opportunity to receive $30.00 for each refrigerator or freezer and $15.00 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.  TCL&P and Cherryland customers should bring copies of their bills to qualify. 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.

Carpet and padding, provided not wet and rolled into lengths no longer than 6 feet will be accepted by Floor Covering Brokers.  Batteries Plus will accept auto batteries, power tool batteries, rechargeable and NiCad batteries and up to 5-lbs of alkaline batteries per household.  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.

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 claw foot tubs, commercial display fixtures and full gallons of clean, reusable latex paint that is reusable, has not been previously frozen and has labels intact.  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.

Goodwill will accept bicycles, 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. 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 (without the workings), porcelain, ceramic, concrete and asphalt to use in road surfacing.

Residents are encouraged to turn out early and especially if they wish to recycle specific items for which certain event maximum limits exist.  Chairman of the Michigan Green Consortium, Ella Cooper-Froehlich reminds residents to consult the event-related website for specific details on the items that will be collected at the March 9th event.  “We ask all residents to consult our website or Facebook page in the  days prior to the event to see exactly what will be collected”.

In a constant quest to expand upon the range of items collected, Michigan Green Consortium welcomes new recycle partners to the event lineup.  As a testament to how well attended the recycle event has been in the past, occasionally a recycle partner might become so inundated with recycled items that they must pass on an event to get out from under the mound of items they are already processing. “Tires and mattresses are two of the very short list of items that we are not equipped to accept at this spring 2014 event,  but ones that MGC hopes to resume accepting in the future” states Cooper-Froehlich.  Specific details as to prohibited items are clearly articulated on the event website and on the event’s Facebook page.

For more information on the Clean Up and Green Up event or to download a comprehensive list of accepted items, visit or the event’s Facebook page.