07 May 2015


Original Story: record-eagle.com

TRAVERSE CITY — Whenever there's a conversation about recycling in Traverse City, Andy Gale is usually involved.

There were more recycling conversations than Gale could partake in Kalamazoo, where he attended a recycling conference to receive an award for the nonprofit he founded, Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

"Here, every other word is recycling," Gale said.

Bay Area Recycling for Charities was awarded a $65,000 grant through the state’s Community Pollution Prevention program. The money will allow Gale to extend his mattress and electronics recycling programs to more parts of the state, especially in rural areas in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula.

"That's the part of the state with hardest time with transportation and being able to recycle that material," Gale said.

The money will allow him to send trucks out to those areas, and then they'll bring the materials back to Traverse City for processing. BARC works with Grand Traverse Industries, which provides employment and services to people with disabilities and who face other obstacles, to dissemble electronics. The grant will increase their capacity to process the electronics.

"All the new material BARC is working hard to get coming in, we'll have the capacity to disassemble," said Steve Perdue, the president and CEO of GTI. "We have some folks that just love to disassemble that stuff."

Perdue said the grant will also allow GTI to expand from four to six part-time jobs to more full-time jobs.

Karen Tommasulo, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Quality, said the grant would allow BARC to triple its mattress processing rate to 60,000 per year.

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