ATRS Partners with Michigan Recycling Authority for a Greener Tomorrow

Posted at July 18, 2014 | By : | Categories : Blog,Our Partners | 0 Comment

By Cat Sutter, ATRS Michigan

The Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA) has collected recyclable materials from South Central Michigan since 1991. The WWRA’s 22-person Chelsea facility sorts, bales, and ships off materials to be recycled. They collect everything from newspaper and plastic bottles to motor oil and car batteries.

But they’re making the world an even greener place by inviting the public to recycle unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles at nine ATRS Recyclers located at their drop-off centers.

Phil Bolyard, Director of Operations, has been running the Chelsea facility for seven years. His Senior Leader, Bill Walters, has been with WWRA for 15 years, and Leader Marc Williams has also been employed for seven years. All three gentlemen share our vision of serving the communities where we live, work and play!

workers posing

Bill, Marc and Phil (left to right) at the WWRA sorting facility.

“We collect around 10 tons of recyclables each month from the City of Chelsea alone,” Phil says, “The garbage facility next door only collects five tons. So the community must be doing something right. If it weren’t for this recycling program, the entire landfill in Chelsea would have been completely full years ago.”

phil with recyclablesPhil implemented single-stream recycling several years ago, which gives the public one easy & convenient drop-off location nearby for all their recyclable waste. “This single stream drop-off center makes it easier and convenient for the public to recycle,” he said. “There are about 2,100 houses in the Chelsea area, and we now service 1,800 of them through our curbside recycling program.”

But the WWRA doesn’t stop with just one city. They operate recycling drop-off locations in multiple counties, and even have several partnerships with garbage disposal companies across the state. “We bring in between 600 to 700 tons a month in recyclables,” Phil said. “We are doing all we can to protect the environment.”   

ATRS has been partnered with the WWRA since 2011. Today, ATRS recycling bins are located at nine of the 12 WWRA drop-off locations throughout Michigan, including their primary sorting facility in Chelsea. These nine locations generated approximately 53,000 pounds of unwanted clothing, shoes and other recyclable textiles in the first half of 2014 alone! That’s over 26 TONS of textile waste diverted from local landfills in one small corner of the USA. Just imagine the impact we could create if more organizations nationwide followed WWRA’s lead and added textiles to their municipal recycling programs!

wwra and atrs bins

One of the nine ATRS bins located at WWRA drop-off locations. All clothing donations and other recycled textiles directly benefit Michigan Humane Society.

As one of the Community Relations Advocates for ATRS Michigan, I’m so thankful for the ATRS Partnership with WWRA because it helps us reach more of the environmentally-conscious people out there. It’s very convenient for folks to bring all their recyclables to one location, whether it’s paper, plastic, ripped blue jeans or an old pair of sneakers.  I’m in awe at how much of a positive impact the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority is making on our environment.

For a WWRA drop-off location near you, please visit their website. For an ATRS Recycler throughout Michigan or nationwide, please call the 24-Hour Hotline at 866-900-9308.


About Cat Sutter

Cat Sutter is an ATRS Community Relations Advocate in Michigan. She works closely with her community to make it a greener place, and also helps support our charitable partner, Michigan Humane Society.