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Recycling center in the kitchen.

Recycling goals

The main goal of our recycling program is to reduce the amount of material that is to be recycled, and to make sure that materials that are recycled are placed in the correct stream.

Recycling system

Small, interior recycling bins are provided in the kitchen, shared printer, and annex areas of the building. Signs on the bins describe the items that can be sorted into each container and how the items should be prepared. The Green Garage’s interior recycling bins are checked daily and emptied when half full. Once a few items have accumulated, the bins are then carried over to the annex and combined with the contents of the larger bins there. The cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals bins are then carried to the community recycling center located in the Motor City Brewing Works parking lot. The bins are emptied into the appropriate bins. Once the full bins in the community recycling center have been picked up by, they are replaced with empty bins. The first person to place recyclables into the empty bins decides which bin will be for which items (glass, plastic, cardboard, and metal).

Our primary recycling is picked up weekly by Workers pick up the cardboard and stack it on the truck, and replace full bins from inside the community recycling center with empty ones. Hours to take recycling to the drop off location at Holden and Trumbull are Mondays and Wednesdays 10 am – 6pm and Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm.

Paper: This category includes white and colored paper, envelopes, junk mail, folders, construction paper, and cardstock. Items that CAN NOT be recycled are: tissue paper, napkins, wrapping paper, and paper towel. For every ton of paper that is recycled, 17 trees are saved from being cut down.

There is not a recycling bin for paper in the community recycling center at this time. In order to prepare waste paper for Recycle Here, it is collected in the annex recycling center within the Green Garage. Once the annex Mixed Paper recycling bin is full, it is taken over to Recycle Here during drop off hours. Paper is handled separately and not placed in the community recycling center bins because if it gets wet, it cannot be recycled.

Cardboard: This category includes corrugated cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, shoe boxes, Kleenex boxes, and paper grocery bags. We CAN NOT accept chipboard that is dirty with food such as paper plates, donut boxes, etc. Break down all boxes flat so that they are easy to handle and store. If you have a large volume of cardboard, designate one box to serve as receptacle for the other cardboard items. Leave this box whole and use it to collect the other cardboard. Place the box full of cardboard next to the recycling bins on the annex side of the building for collection.

Styrofoam: This category includes carry out boxes, packing materials, and some food containers. We can accept Styrofoam peanuts, but they must be in a separate plastic bag from other Styrofoam. Please make sure that no food scraps or residues are in any containers.

Plastic: Please sort your plastics according to the number found on the bottom of the container. We can accept #1 and #2 plastics together, and #4, #5, #6, and #7 plastics together. Make sure your containers are clean and rinsed; otherwise they will end up in the garbage. Tops should be removed and placed in the cap container on the shelf above the recycling bins in the kitchen. Any labels can be left on the container. Plastic is one of the most important items to recycle because it is made from petroleum.

Plastic caps: When the plastic cap container on the shelf over the recycling bins in the kitchen is full, it is taken to Aveda at Somerset Mall for recycling into new cosmetics containers.

Glass: Glass must be rinsed and caps removed before placing in the galvanized bucket on the shelf over the recycling bins in the kitchen. Labels can be left on the glass, although metal tops can be recycled with the metal. Glass composites such as Plexiglas can not be recycled. Window glass, vases, knick-knacks and glass other than that from bottles and jars cannot be recycled. Most of the glass we recycle is pulverized and used in road construction.

Metal: Metals of all different kinds can be sorted together. This includes steel, iron and aluminum cans. Please make sure that your containers are rinsed. Labels do not have to be removed. Crushing cans will help save on space. Place metals for recycling in the galvanized bucket on the shelf over the recycling bins in the kitchen. Aluminum is 100% recyclable, which means none of the material is lost in the recycling process. Every time one aluminum can is recycled, enough energy is saved to power a television for about three hours (compared to mining and manufacturing a new can).

Milk/juice cartons and juice boxes: We recently added milk and juice cartons and juice boxes to our recycling system. Please make sure your items are rinsed clean, flattened and placed in the bin in the kitchen recycling center. This bin is emptied weekly and the contents taken to Recycle Here during drop off hours.

Recycling containers

We bought the Waste Watcher series of containers, one each for:

  • plastic
  • styrofoam
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • milk/juice cartons

For our low volume of metals and glass recyclables, we use galvanized metal pails to collect and carry them. Household batteries, spent light bulbs and ink cartridges are collected in a small bin on top of the annex recycling center and taken to Recycle Here periodically for recycling.

We also recycle certain items by taking them over to Arts and Scraps. "Arts & Scraps is a Detroit non-profit organization that uses 28 tons of recycled industrial (and household) materials to help 275,000 people of all ages and abilities each year think, create and learn." Check out their website to learn more about them and the types of materials they collect and use.

Recycling resources

See also