Recycle Ann Arbor Gives Recycling Robotic Respect

Recycle Ann Arbor

In A Nutshell:

Recycle Ann Arbor currently operates the state’s largest community Drop-Off Station, the ReUse Center (store for used goods), the Ann Arbor curbside recycling program, and Calvert’s Roll-Off Containers (construction recycling organization).

Why They Rock:

  • ReUse Center: 20,000 square feet of retail space, accepts donations of reusable household goods, office supplies and building materials that it resells to the general public at affordable prices. The Center also offers Urbanwood: local saw mills salvaging urban trees for sale.
  • Curbside Recycling: Contracted by the City of Ann Arbor to collect recyclables weekly at the curb from residents in a single-stream collection system (chuck all the numbers in).
  • Drop-Off Station: provides residents the opportunity to recycle various hard-to-recycle materials, including rechargeable batteries, anti-freeze, computers, and televisions, as well as to purchase inexpensive compost and mulch.
  • Calvert’s Roll-Off Containers: state’s only non-profit construction and demolition (C&D) waste and recycling service provider.

50Give Experience:

The city of Ann Arbor gave a much needed recharge with live robotic dancing, beautiful scenery on the campus of Michigan University and surrounding parks, comfy hospitality with local Two Hearted Ale…and most importantly – inspiration from the amazing crew at Recycle Ann Arbor.

My volunteer contact Kendra is from a different planet (my kind of person) and I will let this video greeting speak for her robotic self. Kendra handed me over to the energetic ReUse Center leader Gary who gets after ‘it’…his ‘it’ is passion for greening the world. The best way I can describe the Center is like an Ikea/Home Depot/Target with used goods being sold and drop-offed continuously…the pace was like the Michigan Speedway final lap since spring arrived (clean out your grandma’s attic), and college ended (students dropping off Lava lamps)….they average 350 cars per week!

I was able to volunteer on a beautiful spring day with the easy-going veteran crew: Brian, Kai, Ted, and Emerson…they made me feel at home and laugh constantly (nothing like photos on toilets and in stirrups – not the kind on saddles). Tasks for the day shifted minute by minute due to huge drop-offs and customer questions…some duties included: create a new carpet section, store shovels for the winter months, and my favorite – wreck old stuff to be recycled!

My Ann Arbor hospitality was even green with my warm hosts John and Sue, who are the chill parents of my buddy Jake from DC SCORES (creative writing & soccer for inner-city kids). The couple are dominating the scene in Ann Arbor: communal garden, composting dominators, and John is an organizer for the Water Hill Music Festival (people jam out on their front porches – he rocks with the Celtic group Nutshell. I was also able to eat at the Michigan’s popular sports hang-out Benny’s where Michael Phelps would visit to load up post swim practice, and I had an amazing run at Gallup Park…tons of trails through mellow waterways and tranquil woods (green points for playgrounds made from recycled bottles & cans).

The town, my hosts, and Recycle Ann Arbor added up for the most green experience on tour; and the people recharged my ‘battery’ to keep spreading the word about amazing non-profits and volunteers crushing ‘it’. Every non-profit has a main ‘it’ they are pushing to better the world, and the only fact I can tell you from this tour is if we lose the earth, ‘it’ will not exist.





Dance Video

Recycle Ann Arbor Robot Greeting Video

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” – Robert Redford

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